Aobao in the Mongolian language means heaps of stones. It is usually seen on the grasslands of Inner Mongolia autonomous region in North China.
It is usually decorated with colorful ribbons and is widely worshiped in Inner Mongolia autonomous region.
Aobao was originally a landmark for herdsmen to identify directions on the grasslands. After the time of Genghis Khan, the founder of the Mongol Empire, Aobao served as a sacred tomb honoring warriors who died in war, with a metal weapon buried inside.
Gradually it become a place for sacrificial offerings where locals pray to the spirits, as well as their ancestors for good weather, a good harvest, and good fortune.
The religious ceremony usually falls on the 13th day of the fifth month in the Chinese lunar calendar.
During the ritual, bottles of holy water, pieces of scripture, and letters containing prayers were placed on the mound. Buddhist lamas are invited to chant scriptures and locals will circle around the Aobao to offer sacrifices.
In 2016, Inner Mongolia released a list to honor 72 Aobaos for their influence in the region after years of research and assessment. Four in Hohhot were included on the list.
Qiataiji Aobao in Tumd Left Banner
A man stands in front of the Qiataiji Aobao in Tumd Left Banner of Hohhot. [Photo/hhhtnews]
Qiataiji Aobao is 200 meters to the north of Taiji village in Tumd Left Banner. Established in the middle of the 16th century, it boasts a history of 400 years.
It is named after the village's ancestor, who made great efforts in promoting unity among ethnic groups.
Locals will hold a ritual ceremony there on the 13th day of the fifth month in the Chinese lunar calendar to honor their ancestor.
Qiataiji Aobao was granted as an intangible cultural heritage in Hohhot in 2014.
From the downtown area of Hohhot
It will take nearly 60 minutes for visitors to travel 60 kilometers from Hohhot's downtown area to the destination.
From Tsining district of Ulaanqab
It will take nearly two and a half hours for visitors to travel 196 km from Tsining district of Ulaanqab to the destination.
It will take almost 1 hour and 45 minutes for visitors to travel 120 km from Baotou to the destination.
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