By now Mongolia’s main religion is Buddhism, with 90% of the whole populations are Buddhists. The rest Muslims, Shamanist and few Christians.
Mongolian’s first religion was shamanism, it arose during the Clan structure. At that time it was simple, just magic. According to archeological findings, about 100000-40000 year before the people lived the land of today’s Mongolia had this religion. On the ancient earth, every clan had a belief about their origin that they were descended from an animal or plant, and they called it tutelary genius. The Mongols adored deer or wolf.
The rituals of Mongolian Buddhist religion are indifferent part of peoples spirit, culture and life, because mongols have been practicing the Buddhism for many hundred years now. There are many kinds of customs, habits and rituals related to Buddhist religion. One of them is a religious mask dancing named as Ccam. The Ccam is main ritual ceremony in Buddhist monasteries.
This ritual ceremony performed on first spring month and devoted to the Maidar-God. Ccam performed on special occasions by the lamas and requiring wearing from huge, bright colored, elaborate masks. These masks are fine art works, because made by the best artists. Ccam is religion dance preformation in accompaniment of monastery music instruments, comprising predominantly percussion and wind instruments in the stile of Tibetan Buddhism. Ccam dance imitating and becoming an elaborating spiritual ritual of “personals”; an endemic for long life and happiness is Tserendug or White old man, a charter for sin relieving and guarding lord of the hell is Damdinchoijoo, a character for growing rich and wealth Namsrai, a character for figth and press Guardian Lord Jamsran are to artistically perform with a charming melody for believers. Bing possessed by spirit, have Mongolian folk dances as their resources.
The Tsam performed first time in Mongolia 200 years ago and was dead in 1937 after Stalinist regime prohibited religion rituals. From 1999 the tsam restored in Mongolian Monasteries.
Mongola’s mother faith is heaven (deed tenger), for example their God is heaven and heaven is god. From ancient time they worshipping heaven and asking for energy, masculine, supernatural power by repenting their sins.
The clans lived on the land of today’s Mongolia passed to class society. From clan structure people believed that there was an external force of the nature and they understood that they were poor and weak under it. So they worshipped to the force, and it was the base Shamanism. According to it there are 99 heavens, 55 of which are heavens of the west and influence good to human beings, and the rest 44 are the heavens of the east and considered as bad. The Mongols worship the good 55 heavens once a year by worshipping a sacred mountain or an ovoo. During the ceremony of ovoo worship, shamans offer fire and food to spirits of the mountains and the waters. And once a year shamans perform a special deed to abuse the bad heavens. According to Shamanism, after a death of someone his spirit goes to the heavens and his body stay under the ground. Today there are number of ethnic groups-Shamanists live in the north western part of the country.
People say that Buddhism first came to Mongolia 3rd century BC and Buddhist intelligent of India were coming to Mongolia 7th century BC in order to develop Buddhism, but the historical resources date Modun Shanyu’s reign 209-171 BC. After that till now over 2000 years, Buddhism has been being developed in Mongolia. For the long time many skilled leaders and Buddhist intelligentsia in Mongolia like 4th Dalai Lama was Mongolian.
By 1937, there were over 700 active monasteries in the country but after the communists destroy only 5 of 1937 left them. After democratic revolution of 1990, people have started reconstruction of many monasteries.