Is there a Mongolian (or Tengrist) ritual of throwing water in front of someone before they set off on a journey? Or is that just a Turkish thing?

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    Interesting question, but why ask it on History SE? Aug 16, 2017 at 13:50
  • I couldn't figure out a better place to put it. Any suggestions? Aug 16, 2017 at 15:19
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    @DanielBensen - I might be able to help but I need clarification on the "throwing water (before a journey)". Can you provide more context/details, i.e. info, link, video, etc? For a start, it would not be from the concept of Tenggeri or Tenggiri, which is the Heavenly Sky, somewhat similar to "Mandate from Heaven", or the resulting shamanistic belief.
    – J Asia
    Aug 16, 2017 at 16:33
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    @JAsia thank you! Is there a ritual involving water and someone setting out on a journey? In Bulgaria, you throw water in front of someone before they walk away. In Turkey (apparently) you throw water across the hood of someone's car before they drive away. Aug 16, 2017 at 18:45
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    @DanielBensen - Not really clear to me that you've described a ritual, looks more like custom. I had in mind a fairly formal Daoist ritual, involving water blessing -- which has a long history in some parts of East Asia, and is related to the Daoist tenet of Wu Wei ( 無爲).. On Mongolian approach to Tengrism, see "Heaven, Earth and Mongols by Rachewiltz" (pdf). Sorry, can't help with more.
    – J Asia
    Aug 16, 2017 at 20:58

2 Answers 2


As a Mongolian, the first thing to come to mind is, spraying milk right after someone special such as a family member leaves. For book sources. I believe it was described by Jack Weatherford in "Genghis Khan and the Making of the Modern World" or "The secret history of Mongol Queens". I find this interesting as "suu" means milk in Mongolian and water in Turkish, if I'm not mistaken.

  • Thank you turoo! That milk-spraying sounds a lot like the Turkish (and Bulgarian) water-splashing. In the end I didn't include it in my story (which you can find in the Tales from Alternate Earths 2 anthology goodreads.com/book/show/41085653-tales-from-alternate-earths-2) I enjoyed both of those Weatherford books. And I believe "su" is Turkish for "water," yes! Thank you for your help Aug 10, 2020 at 16:02

I'm Jewish from Uzbekistan (Samarkand), and in my family growing up, we always threw a cup of water right as the car pulled away for a long drive.

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    Interesting, but can you provide more details? Did you see or hear about others doing this? Oct 3, 2020 at 23:57
  • That's exactly what we do in Bulgaria and what (apparently) is done in Turkey! Thank you! Oct 14, 2020 at 11:45

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