The first thing to be said about Genghis Khan’s Mausoleum – located around 150km south of Baotou – is that it’s not all it’s cracked up to be: it probably isn’t the tomb of Genghis Khan, and it isn’t a particularly attractive place anyway, but nonetheless it provides a fascinating insight into the modern cult of the famous warrior. There are no English captions for the exhibits.

Special sacrificial ceremonies take place here four times a year on certain days of the lunar calendar – the fifteenth day of the third lunar month, the fifteenth day of the fifth lunar month, the twelfth day of the ninth month and the third day of the tenth month. On these occasions, Mongolian monks lead solemn rituals that involve piling up cooked sheep before the statue of the khan. The ceremonies are attended not only by local people, but also by pilgrims from the Republic of Mongolia itself.

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