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Aobao worship ceremony held in Ordos, Inner Mongolia

(China Daily)    12:16, September 04, 2016
Aobao worship ceremony held in Ordos, Inner Mongolia
An Aobao worship ceremony, the grandest worship ritual in Mongolia, is held at Yike Aobao in the Kangbashi area of Ordos, North China's Inner Mongolia autonomous region, on September 3.

Aobao worship ceremonies often occur from the fifth to the eight month of the Chinese lunar calendar, when the grassland is carpeted with lush grass and interweaved with dazzling wild blossoms. The ceremony is also the forerunner of the renowned Naadam Festival.

Before Tibetan Buddism making it way to Inner Mongolia, shamanism, an ancient religion which preaches everything in nature, dominates as the Mongolian national belief.

Aobao means "stone heap" in the Mongolian language. Originally serving as the signposts helping people find their way in the vast grasslands, Aobao evolved into the deity worship place.

As a traditional, whenever a Mongolian passes an Aobao, he or she will stop to pray, add a new stone to it or give some offerings.

When an Aobao ceremony begins, the Mongolia will offer Hadas, milk wine and cheese as sacrificial offerings. Then, Lama will chant the sutras and carry out rituals.

After that, the Mongolians will circle the Aobao three times, praying for fortune and longevity.

Mongolian Aobao culture has already been listed as a state-level intangible cultural heritage.

The Yike Aobao worship ceremony is one of the activities being held during the first Ordos Cultural Industries Fair in Kangbashi's newly developed area in Ordos from September 2 to 6.


(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)
(Editor: Shi Jing,Bianji)

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