Read it in French: Symbole Mongole
A brief reminder of the significance of the Soyombo, Mongolian national emblem: the three-pointed flame represents the prosperity of the nation in the past, present and future. The sun and the moon are the legendary father and mother of the people. The arrowheads, pointing downwards, recall Ancient Times where such a gesture, executed with its arrow or spear, meant “Death to the enemies of the Mongolian people.” Horizontal rectangles represent the uprightness, honesty and nobility of the common people as the highest spheres, while the vertical rectangles are an allusion to a Mongolian proverb: “Two friends are stronger than stone walls.” Here they teach that the people, if united, is stronger than a fortress. Finally, the Tai-ki, better known as Ying-Yang, is the figure of the Tao, representing the double principle of Universal Life, each bearing the embryo of its opposite. Cyclical, it is the Supreme Order.
Until the 1990s, the Soyombo was surmounted by a small red star, symbol of the Communist Revolution.
Source: La Mongolie, by Jacqueline Thévenet
There are 6 colors of khadag, these sacred scarves used as an offering
Blue: Tengri, divinity / shamanic spirit of heaven; the Blue Wolf, figure of Genghis Khan; the color of eternity
White: milk, symbol of purity, Great Earth Mother; the white doe, figure of Börte
Yellow: the sun; the Mahayana Buddhism Bonnet Sect of Mahayana – the most common in Mongolia; the color of wisdom
Red: fire; the Red Bonnets sect of Mahayana Buddhism – found in Choïjin lama, Khamariin khiid …; the color of prosperity
Green: the earth, the steppe, at home; the color of inner peace
The last color is the least known and can not be offered; black khadags are used for special ceremonies, such as countering a curse, practicing an exorcism … and are an object of power used by lamas or shamans.
They protect the believer and extend their intrinsic virtues to help people achieve enlightenment.
The lotus (purity and illumination)
The two golden fish (Samsara release, Ying Yang)
The precious umbrella (protecting the Buddha against evil influences)
The white conch (used during the Sakyamuni illumination ceremony)
The olzii (representation of the infinity of love and harmony)
The victory banners (triumph of the wisdom of the Buddha over ignorance)
The vase with the jewels (or rest the treasures of the enlightenment)
The Dharma Wheel: or the 8 straight paths to follow to enlightenment – right understanding, right thinking, right speech, right action, just means to exist, right effort, right attention, right concentration
When the wheel is divided into 6, it is called the Wheel of Life and symbolizes the 6 possible worlds of reincarnation: that of the devas (gods of bliss); asuras (jealous gods); humans ; animals ; the hungry; and hells (hot or cold)
The 12 zodiacal animals of the lunar calendar of use in Mongolia
In the legend, the first Buddha invited all animals to the first of the year, to share his teachings with them. 12 animals came in this order: the rat, carried by the ox; the Tiger ; the rabbit ; the Dragon ; the snake ; horse ; sheep ; the monkey ; rooster ; the dog ; and the pig.
Other legends relate how the cat was deceived by the rat, thinking that the feast would be held the next day;
And another relates to the camel, also supplanted by the rat; there was only one place left in the zodiac, and God did not know to whom to give it. He announced that the first to see the sun rise would gain the place. The rat, on the hump of the camel and looking in the right direction, arrived first.
Each of the 12 animals also represents a characteristic of its own, and influences the people of its year.
It is said that the rat is cunning; the ox, energetic; the tiger, smiling; the rabbit, cautious; the dragon, sparkling; the serpent, wise; the horse, talented; the sheep, sensitive; the monkey, malignant; the cock, proud; the dog, faithful; and the pig, scrupulous.
Another symbol of great importance is the Khii Mori (Abstract Horse, or Celestial by extension); it is one of the oldest ornamental motifs of Mongolia. It represents the vital energy, the enthusiasm, as well as the connection between the spirits and the men. Often placed on the ovoos, it recalls an ancient tradition dating back to the Hiong-Nu: at a funeral, a horse was sacrificed in Heaven so that the latter would lead the soul of the deceased to his ancestors. Today he wears the Soyombo on the emblem of Mongolia.
The Garuda, the emblem of the city, is a mythical bird (such as the phoenix rising from its ashes) belonging to Buddhist iconography.
It is traditionally represented the forehead surmounted by the Soyombo, holding a key in the right hand and a lotus in the left hand; these two attributes respectively represent the masculine and feminine principles. In his greenhouses is imprisoned a snake, conventional representation of Evil.