Taoism, after a long period of communist proscription, is again alive and flourishing at Tai Shan, and you’re more than likely to see a bearded Taoist monk on the way up. Women come specifically to pray to Bixia Yuan Jun, the Princess of the Rosy Clouds, a Taoist deity believed to be able to help childless women conceive. Tai Shan also plays an important role in the folk beliefs of the Shandong peasantry (tradition has it that anyone who has climbed Tai Shan will live to be 100).

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