Ethnic Mongolians Celebrate Spring Ritual at Genghis Khan Shrine

Thousands of ethnic Mongolians from all over China flocked to Ordos to attend the spring ritual.
Thousands of ethnic Mongolians from all over China flocked to Ordos to attend the spring ritual. 

A grand spring memorial ceremony was celebrated on Saturday, May 9, at a shrine dedicated to renowned 13th-century conqueror Genghis Khan.
Thousands of ethnic Mongolians gathered in the site of the commemorative shrine located in Ordos, in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, North China, to pay their respects. A white silk ceremonial scarf called "hada" was also offered by other worshippers.
The conqueror is said to be the ancestor of ethnic Mongolians. Born in the land called Temujin,Genghis Khan later founded the mighty Mongol Empire, which went on to become the largest contiguous empire known in the history of mankind. He was crowned as the Great Khan or Emperor of the Mongol Empire in the spring of 1206. He reigned until his death on Aug. 18, 1227.
As a historical figure of great importance, memorial rituals dedicated to the Great Khan are protected and considered as a state intangible cultural heritage. The spring ritual, which lasts for eight days, is one of the most important annual rituals of the commemorative shrine.
For many ethnic Mongolians, the spring ritual is a way to reconnect with their heritage.
"The last time I participated in the spring ritual was in 2008, this time I brought my friends from Shandong Province to experience the Mongolian culture," said Hasiet, a 50-year-old ethnic Mongolian woman.
She came all the way to Ordos from Hohhot, the capital of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. Like Ordos, the city is home to several memorials such as the Genghis Khan Monument.
The Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is home to around five million ethnic Mongolians.
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