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Putin congratulates Russian Buddhists on occasions of Lunar New Year

February 16, 23:55 UTC+3 MOSCOW

The congratulatory telegram was published at the Kremlin's official homepage

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A cleansing ritual at the Ivolginsky datsan Buddhist temple as part of celebrations of the Lunar New Year of the Dog

A cleansing ritual at the Ivolginsky datsan Buddhist temple as part of celebrations of the Lunar New Year of the Dog

© Andrei Ogorodnik/TASS

MOSCOW, February 16. /TASS/. Russian President Vladimir Putin has congratulated the Russian Buddhists on the occasion of the Lunar New Year.

The congratulatory telegram was published at the Kremlin's official homepage.

"It is important that Russia's Buddhist community is preserving carefully the invaluable ethic and spiritual heritage and self-identical traditions of its ancestors and that is pays relentless attention to the highly demanded educational and charity activities, cares for family values and upbringing of younger generations, promotion of inter-religious and inter-ethnic dialogue, as well as the consolidation of peace and concord in society," Putin wrote.

The Lunar New Year shifts from one date to another every year, as its start is calculated in accordance with the Lunar calendar. Most typically, it falls on the end of winter or the very beginning of spring.

In 2018, the New Year according to the oriental calendar begins on February 16.

Buddhists in Russia mark the feast in the course a whole month, which is called the White Month. It symbolizes spiritual purification and new life. In line with tradition, the believers to parties and treat their relatives and friends with dairy products.

Most of the 900,000-strong Buddhist population in Russia lives in Kalmykia, which a steppe-land region to the north of North Caucasus, Buryatia in eastern Siberia, the Irkutsk region, Tyva in southern Siberia, and the Trans-Baikal territory.

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