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Celebrating the harvest: "Mikuolu"

May 22th is the most festive day for the Ewenki in the pasturing areas throughout the year, because it is their "Mikuolu"-the festival on which people count the newly born cattle and celebrate the harvest. People on this day will dress up in beautiful national dress. Relatives and friends get together to castrate and brand the animals. The strong and vigorous young men, on the horseback, brandish the lunge rod, chase and hitch the two-year-old fierce horse. When the horse is hitched, all the riders will tumble on the horse, some jump onto the horseback, some draw its tail and some seize its ears, and they will hurl the horse to the ground in no time. Some will cut its mane, some will cut the end of the tail and some will make an earmark. The owner of the horse will brand on the right side of a hinder leg. This is a very tense, exiting and interesting labor, as well as a good chance for the folks to compete with each other and show their riding skills. Traditionally, when they are castrating and earmarking the sheep, the old will give the children female lambs as gifts, with the blessing of prolificacy and happiness. After the labor, the host will feast his relatives and friends, and declare the number of newly born cattle merrily. When the feast of one household finishes, people will rush gaily to another house, and a new scene of labor that is full of joy will open.

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