HOHHOT, April 17 (Xinhua) -- About 100,000 ethnic Mongolians from across China went to the mausoleum of the 13th-century great conquerer Genghis Khan Monday for a grand memorial ritual.
The annual spring ceremony for Genghis Khan has been practiced for nearly 800 years.
Worshippers stepped into the shrine in Ordos in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, offering hada, a ceremonial silk scarf, and tea bricks, among other offerings. Genghis Khan's relics are enshrined at the site.
The ritual was hosted by members of the Dalhut families who have been guarding the mausoleum for generations.
"I attend the spring ritual every two or three years," said a Mongolian teacher. "The ancient ceremony allows me to feel and touch the history and culture of our ancestor."
After the main ritual ended, attendees participated in a milk-sprinkling rite outside the shrine to pray for blessings.
Ethnic Mongolians claim to be the descendants of Genghis Khan, who united the tribes in northern China and founded the Mongol Empire in the 13th century. His grandson, Kublai Khan, established the Yuan Dynasty, which ruled China from 1271 to 1368.
The mausoleum was established by Genghis Khan's son, though where he was actually interred remains unknown. Genghis Khan memorial rituals are protected as a state intangible cultural heritage.