Saturday, June 20, 2009

Mongolia | Ulaan Baatar | Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice will occur here at exactly 1:46 p.m tomorrow, June 21. Usually I go to the summit of Bogd Khan Uul to celebrate the Summer Solstice, but this year due to circumstances beyond my control I had to do my annual Bogd Khan trip on June 7. Accompanying me were Saraa and Croatian Castle Restorer and Badarchin Vedran.


As long-time readers of this blog know, I consider myself a connoisseur of drinking water. The water in this small stream not far from the start of the trail from Mandzhir Khiid to the summit is some of the best to be found locally. It is worth the drive from Ulaan Baatar just to sip this icy-cold water straight from the recesses of Bogd Khan Mountain.

Saraa sampling sumptous water

Proceeding on, we soon reached the 7,440-foot summit of the mountain.

Saraa didn’t even work up a sweat climbing to the summit

Ovoo at the summit

Saraa telling her beads at the summit

Since I have already been to the summit of Bogd Khan Uul this summer I will probably go to some pinnacle near my hovel in Zaisan Tolgoi to celebrate the Solstice. According to Sky & Telescope, the Summer Solstice is also “called ‘Midsummer’ Night—traditionally a time of all-night bonfires and partying, when the veil between our world and the world of elves and fairies was supposed to be unusually thin.” I will light no bonfires or engage in any bacchanalias, but will instead recite orisons suitable for the troubled times in which we live. Retire to the mountaintop of your choice for appropriate ceremonies, but in keeping with Buddhist principles please refrain from making any animal or human sacrifices.