Tai Shan – or Mount Tai – is one of “Five Sacred Mountains” of Chinese Taoist belief; and is regarded as the foremost of the five. It has been a place of worship for at least 3,000 years and served as the foremost ceremonial center for eastern China. It is associated with sunrise, birth, and renewal.

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Prayers & hopes tied to a highpoint on Tai Shan

In 219 BC, Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China, held a ceremony on the summit and proclaimed the unity of his empire in a famous inscription. At 1532 meters high, the tallest peak of Tai Shan is called “The Jade Emperor”.

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Over time, worship here evolved into an official imperial rite and Mount Tai became one of the principal places where the emperor would pay homage to heaven (on the summit) and earth (at the foot of the mountain).

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Spiritual tourism has been booming for centuries here and everyone in China – from Confucius to Chairman Mao have ascended this holy mountain.

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A dragon cauldron for donations, good luck, wishes in the Confucius temple

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Tai Shan – “The Jade Emperor” Peak is on far right – seen from my workplace at Tai Shan Foreign Language School in Taian; I live on campus, so the views are amazing, on clear days …

 

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