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Spring rite

By Wang Kaihao (China Daily)

14:01, May 08, 2013

The majestic golden statue of Genghis Khan sits inside the palace of the mausoleum. (China Daily/Wang Kaihao)

The Mausoleum of Genghis Khan turned into a ritual sanctuary recently as pilgrims celebrated the spring sacrifice. Wang Kaihao shares his experience in Ordos, Inner Mongolia.

Visitors to Inner Mongolia autonomous region will probably not understand the spirit of Mongolian ethnic group without seeing the Mausoleum of Genghis Khan in Ejin Horo Banner, Ordos.

I visited the mausoleum - considered one of the most sacred places in Mongolian culture - at the best time, coinciding with the annual spring sacrifice to honor the founder of Mongol Empire during the 13th century.

The event, which lasted from April 26 until May 3, attracted Mongolian people from all over the country and even overseas to gather at the site to pay homage.

I arrived at the mausoleum on April 29, the eve of the 21st day of the third month in Chinese lunar calendar. It's the most eventful day of the weeklong spring sacrifice. This day is called Tsagaansurek, which means "a white herd" in Mongolian.

Spring sacrifice is the biggest of the seasonal sacrifice. There are also 60 other special rituals throughout the year, including a grand ceremony during New Year.

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