enghis Khan's annual memorial rites honour sees thousands attending

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New Delhi, May 5 (ANI): The annual memorial rites honouring Genghis Khan, the 13th-century Mongolian warrior and founder of the Mongol Empire, saw tens of thousands of people from home and abroad attending.

The 8-day event began on May 4 in Ejin Horo Banner, Ordos Highlands, in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, reports Xinhua.

Yamutede, who officiated the ceremony, said the event attracted 30,000 people including locals of the Mongolian ethnic group and tourist from outside Inner Mongolia to the Tuesday morning session.

Yamutede descends from one of the 500 Dalhut families that serve and keep Genghis Khan's grave. The Dahhut families have been protecting the Khan's mausoleum for over 700 years.

"We keep the lamps alight and make fresh sacrifices for the master. Thousands of Mongolians and tourists make long journeys to come here for the annual rites," Yamutede said.

On May 4, the 50,000-square meter parking lot in front of the mausoleum was full.

Hurichabatu, a Mongolian from Xinlingol Grasslands in the northeast of Inner Mongolia, and his family of four made a 20-hour train journey to attend the rites.

"I brought sacrifices of liquor, brick tea, milk and lamb," he said before turning to focus on the officiant's chanting and praying as he dabbed his forehead with liquor.

Wearing a traditional Mongolian robe and with a dozen of her friends, Tegus came from Ulan Bator, the capital of Mongolia.

"Mongolia also holds memorial rites to honour Genghis Khan. But I've heard the one held in China's Erdos is very ceremonious, and I wanted to experience the culture and worship the Mongolian ancestor here," she said.

Local legend has it that about 800 years ago during one of his crusades, Genghis Khan was impressed by the grasslands and forests in Ordos and said on his death his was to be buried here.

But soldiers accompanying him did not take his words seriously. Later, after the Khan's death, the wagon carrying his body passed through the place again. One of its wheels got stuck in the earth and could not be pulled free.

In partial observance of his command, the soldiers buried some of his clothing here. The trick seemed to work, as the wheel could be pulled free.

Although it was set up more than 300 years ago on the outskirts of Ordos, the mausoleum is not the real burial place of Genghis Khan; it only has some of his clothes and personal items. The Khan's real burial place has never been discovered. (ANI)

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