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Pilgrimages —new category idea (another)

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I was just reading about the pilgrimage the faithful make around Mt Kailash (Tibet). I am thinking of visiting Tibet, so doing some research. To get to Kailash one must first reach Lhasa (12,000'), which is easy enough, 3 days on a sometimes pressurised train (max 16,000') from HK. Then 4 days from Lhasa on mix of jeep, bus, yak, and foot. Then Kailash (15,000'), then the 52km hike around the mountain (max 18,000'). Sounds like fun.

 

However ... Pilgrimage sites. These are universal (umm, not sure about Australia). Popular, interesting, even dramatic, but not a huge number.

 

Thoughts ?

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Great idea.

 

I know many pilgrimage pleaces here in Germany. Not so spectacular like the Mt. Kailash.

 

Here is the homepage of my friend Dr. Bernhard Peter. He visited Tibet some years ago. -> Nice pictures

He has been in Usbekistan, too. Unhappily he is not Waymarking :(

 

http://www.kultur-in-asien.de/Tibet/tibet.htm

 

Cheers lumbricus

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I like the idea, but I don't know if it can be turned into a viable category.

 

What can be waymarked?

 

The destination? Signs along the way? Businesses specialized in pilgrims, like guesthouses and hostels?

 

Some have traditional and important stations along a clear route, it would make sense to include them; but other pilgrimages are only defined by the destination, the pilgrim can start where ever he wants. Haw can we deal with that difference?

 

Do you want to allow ancient pilgrimages of long gone antique religions?

 

Are the indigenous Australian songlines pilgrimages, they are tracks and there is a spiritual background?

 

Would you allow secular pilgrimages? If yes, how far can you go? Is the mausoleum of Lenin or the one of Mao Zedong allowed? The grave of Jim Morrison? Graceland?

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I like the idea, but I don't know if it can be turned into a viable category.

 

What can be waymarked?

 

The destination? Signs along the way? Businesses specialized in pilgrims, like guesthouses and hostels?

 

I would prefer the destination. There was St. James Way (Santiago de Compostella) in peer review recently and one of the objections was that there was no clear definition what should be waymarked.

 

Would former pilgrimage destinations be allowed? In CZ we have quite a few "pilgrimage churches" - usually the pilgrimage cult started in 17th century, the church is larger than a usual village church, it stands in the middle of nowhere and often is in a desolate state, as the pilgrimage tradition was discontinued and there are no funds for repairs.

 

Examples: WMAQ2X, WMA5PG, GCKQR4, WMD1Y6 - or just search for 'pilgrimage church', 'pilgrimage chapel' keywords.

 

There would be a lot of crossposting with the existing categories (architectonic and religious ones). This new category should probably focus more on the history - when the tradition of pilgrimages to this place started (and ended), what special artifacts can be seen there, if there are any miraculous healing legends, if the pilgrimages are(were) being made year-round or for some special holidays, etc..

 

Would you allow secular pilgrimages? If yes, how far can you go? Is the mausoleum of Lenin or the one of Mao Zedong allowed? The grave of Jim Morrison? Graceland?

 

I would leave these for Official Tourist Attractions.

 

If there is a group formed, let me know and I will renew my premium membership.

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Questions, questions, questions—I am more of a concept person.

 

What can be waymarked?

- The waymarker choses a significant pilgrimage location. Possibly the destination (though for Mt Kailash the beginning would be ok), or maybe the start, or somewhere along the way. There would need to be a case made to justify the waymark location: research needed. Thusly, a good set of category managers would also be needed.

 

Do you want to allow ancient pilgrimages of long gone antique religions?

- I would say yes, as long as there is adequate documentation, and something extant, something that can be waymarked.

 

Are the indigenous Australian songlines pilgrimages, they are tracks and there is a spiritual background?

- I am not sure. I don't know a great deal about indigenous Australian practices. I could find out!

 

Would you allow secular pilgrimages? If yes, how far can you go? Is the mausoleum of Lenin or the one of Mao Zedong allowed? The grave of Jim Morrison? Graceland?

- No. Lets stick to the sacred.

 

There would need to be a clear definition (as always). I am reminded of an article I read of the US Vietnam War Memorial, where visitors described their stay as a 'pilgrimage', and left items (beer, food, baseball caps) as gifts to the departed. This having been said, I wold not consider a visit to the memorial to be a true pilgrimage.

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This is a good start. I am completely with you in these points: The destination, also ancient ones, no secular pilgrimages.

 

Then the difficult part begins. There are some important pilgrimages that cover huge areas. The way of St. James in Europe is a network of ways of several thousand kilometers, current routes, abandoned ones, newly established ones. There are many churches in my area dedicated to St. James that have some historic connection to the ways, but are not at the current main routes. Would they be valid waymarks? I am not an expert in that field, but I guess the Hajj is even more complicated.

 

I like the idea, but I feel there is still a lot of work before we come to a sensible and clear definition for a category.

 

A pilgrimage is a way, the destination is just the end. What parts of this way do make sense in terms of Waymarking?

 

@small oaks: Stamp locations are a - maybe too - easy possibility, but I feel this is not appropriate. There must be a better solution. And I think many pilgrimages do not offer these.

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* lumbricus. I had a look at your friends website, spectacular photos. Of course, as he is not a waymarker, more for those who are!

Pilgrimage sites in Germany, are they usually single sites, a church for example, or more a journey?

 

The way of St. James, after reading I would suggest somewhere in Santiago de Compostela. This is the difficult part, determining a single location. I would leave this to the waymarker, but with the understanding that the selection must be justified in the long description, and also be suitable in the eyes of the officers.

 

Wiki has a list of pilgrimages, though I am not sure that the single list included is as comprehensive as is suggested:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pilgrimage

 

My thoughts on requirements: religious, recognised religion, minimum one century as a pilgrimage, historic or contemporary, location = significant site but destination preferred. Lots of photos, lots of text, significant subordinate locations included. No John Wayne jokes.

 

Having said all of this, I will be offline for a few days in northern Vietnam, then into China. Looking forward to adding China to my list.

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In some ways I think this is a great idea.

Waymarks in this category would raise the level of Waymarking to something more than a geocaching add-on, a yellow-pages wannbe, or a drive-by quickie. Something more substantial here.

 

Some issues to resolve:

 

What to waymark? Primary coordinates and photos would be of the final destination. Seems logical. (This may also qualify for multiple categories). But, much like the Scenic Hikes category, additional coordinates and photos could be required such as the natural beginning of the pilgrimage (usually the final portion has some traditional "start" even though someone is coming from a distance or other directions, and a couple of "significant" points along the way.

 

What qualifies? This is trickier. Lists, such as the one on Wikipedia, are good starts, but none of this is comprehensive, I'm sure. Not all pilgrimages are of international significance. Yet, in a sense, almost every Buddhist Temple in Korea (and I suppose other places) could be considered a pilgrimage. I remember climbing Mt. Nantai in Japan to get to the little temple on tip, visiting the interim ones on the way. It was a popular hike, but would it be a pilgrimage? I guess one might just leave it up to the waymarker to make a case for the site as being a generally accepted pilgrimage of some note. Various sources could be used to support the case. The idea would be to give a voice to the site, to tell the story, and not apply overly stringent criteria.

 

Prevalence? Well, globally there are probably a lot of these. Undoubtedly less common in the United States where religious pilgrimage is does not have the cultural tradition that it does in more ancient parts of the world. But, maybe sometimes we need to go for "quality not quantity" for a Waymarking category. Do we need one on every block?

 

So, again, I think it is a worthy idea for further development. Lot of work, though!

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Hello. China.

 

Anyway, I have put digit to keypad to draft a category. I have thought through a number of options concerning pilgrimages: different routes, no clear end point, should a waymarker perform the entire pilgrimage?, dangers and difficulties,

 

Please give me your thoughts.

 

"The Seekers" ?

 

Pilgrimages

 

Description

A pilgrimage is a religiously inspired physical journey undertaken to gain spiritual development. Pilgrimages are found on every inhabited continent, and in every culture. The purpose of this category is to recognise and to document these journeys.

 

Expanded Description

Pilgrimages are an enduring and ancient part of human culture. They are carried out by believers in order to gain merit in the eyes of their deity/deities. Individually, pilgrimages vary widely in form, yet, they invariably centre around a journey of challenge and hardship, even one of some danger, and usually of great length and duration, with the goal of reaching a point or points of religious significance. Some well known pilgrimages are the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, earlier, the medieval Christian pilgrimage to the Holy Land.

 

An interesting recent development, is that of non-believers undertaking pilgrimage journeys, or parts thereof, for the cultural significance or simple adventure.

 

There are other forms of pilgrimage, of a secular nature, such as visiting Apple Inc (the Mothership), at 1 Infinite Loop, Cupertino, California, U.S. These forms of pilgrimage are not acceptable. No secular waymarks, no smarty pants waymarks. Serious.

 

For a pilgrimage to be suitable for inclusion in this category the following criteria must be met. The pilgrimage must be religious in nature, recognised by an established church, be of some posterity, and possess wide spread acceptance. These criteria, as are most things in life, subjective in application, however, we are looking for 'real' pilgrimages, undertaken by 'real' pilgrims, of 'real' significance. If unsure if a candidate is suitable consult with a category officer. There are numerous lists of pilgrimages. Wikipedia would be a starting point.

 

There is the question as to whether the waymarker should undertake the pilgrimage. This would be preferred, but not always be possible, however to submit a waymark the waymarker must complete at least a significant part of the pilgrimage. This experience should be documented in the long description.

 

Instructions for Posting a Pilgrimage Waymark:

Waymarking a pilgrimage will not always be an easy feat. First, a suitable location must be identified. The preferred choice is the terminus of the pilgrimage, which could be a church, temple, shrine, artefact, tomb or a geographical location. This is the simplest option, yet, there are pilgrimages without a clear destination, or with a number of equally significant sites along its path. In this instance the waymarker must select one of these sites as the waymark. This is the preferred outcome, however, it may be that, upon reflection, the waymarker concludes that a single waymark cannot fully describe a pilgrimage. In this case multiple waymarks are acceptable, but with the proviso that this decision must be justified in the long description and be acceptable to the officers.

 

Another potential difficulty is the degree of access or danger associated with a pilgrimage. The concluding point may be too physically challenging, or the waymarker may be forbidden (or may chose not to participate fully out of respect), to reach the conclusion of the pilgrimage. With this in mind a suitable alternative to the destination will suffice.

 

For example Mecca is closed to non-believers. If a non-Muslim wished to waymark this pilgrimage then the closest point on the route to the city, which a non-believer can reach, such as a marked boundary stone or a sign, would be a suitable location. An example of a physically challenging waymark is Mt Kailash (Tibet). This requires first reaching the base of the Mountain at 15,000', then a 53km circumnavigation of the Mountain, during which one will attain an altitude of 18,000'. This is tough for locals. If you reach the mountain, but do not walk around the mountain, you would have a compelling case for creating a waymark at the start point. (If you walk the 53kms, honourary lifetime rank as a category officer.)

 

In such cases more than one waymark for a single pilgrimage will exist. To continue with the example, a waymark for Muslims and one for non-Muslims, a waymark for the fit and one for the not quiet so fit (or over 50).

 

Again, where multiple waymarks are created for a single pilgrimage, this decision must be justified in the long description and be acceptable to the officers. Overall, the preferred outcome is one waymark per pilgrimage.

 

Demonstrate courtesy to the beliefs of others. Don't photograph anything you should not. Don't upset anyone. Stay out of trouble.

 

Waymark Name:

location, pilgrimage name—City/Region, Country

e.g. 'Darchen, Mt Kailash—Purang County, Tibet Autonomous Region, China.'

 

The long description will include a description of the pilgrimage, its origin and history, including: numbers, dates, times, costs, rest points, accommodation, restrictions, dangers, adventure, options, and difficulties. Of note would be the reason why believers undertake the pilgrimage, religious artefacts, and miraculous healing (if any). Enough so that someone unfamiliar will gain a basic understanding. This is a great deal to ask, but make the length of the description comparable to the pilgrimage.

 

Photographs: lots of photographs. It is impossible to describe precisely what should be photographed, but enough to clearly describe the terminus of the pilgrimage, include signs and plaques. Also, the journey, a representative number of photographs of important stops along the way.

 

Summary:

Destination, or second best.

Description: details, history, numbers.

Photography: lots.

 

mandatory:

religion

starting point (or none/various)

end point (or none/various)

 

optional:

length of pilgrimage

intermediate important locations

cost estimate

problems

difficulty factor

special permissions

 

Visiting a Waymark

Photograph of waymark

Your description on reaching the waymark.

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Hi Ian,

 

we have journeys and single sites.

 

One great example for a journey is the "Ginormous candle". I used the candle for my family coat of arms. Because it's a special thing for the place where my ancesters lived about 200 years ago.

 

The way is about 75km long.

http://www.thomas-haslinger.de/wallfahrt/strecke.html

 

The whole way they are carrying a 13m/42,7ft. high candle.

http://www.thomas-haslinger.de/wallfahrt/index.html

 

At the destination more than 10.000 people are waiting for the pilgrimage.

I never have been there before, the new category could change this :)

 

I will read your category description this evening, now it's working time :x

 

All the best,

lumbricus

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Very good description, I like it. Except one point. I don not think it should be required to actively participate in the pilgrimage. I can think of many reasons to not be able to do so: health, believe, time famine, even laziness. I don't judge any of them but I don't see the point in creating additional requirements that are difficult to fulfill and not to control at all.

 

@lumbricus: A nice example, but I see this one at the borderline between pilgrimage and procession. This raises the question of processions. Should they be included?

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-I will be offline for a few days. I will check in asap.

-50/50 about participating in the pilgrimage, but I would like this to be more than just walking out of your front door and Waymarking a pilgrimage by photographing a shrine near your house.

- no processions.

 

* Also, looking for officers. Anyone interested? Pilgrims and Pilgrimages!

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* Also, looking for officers. Anyone interested? Pilgrims and Pilgrimages!

 

They call me the "The Passionate Pilgrim", you can count on me! :laughing:

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Hello. China.

 

Anyway, I have put digit to keypad to draft a category. I have thought through a number of options concerning pilgrimages: different routes, no clear end point, should a waymarker perform the entire pilgrimage?, dangers and difficulties,

 

Please give me your thoughts.

 

 

Yes, looking for feedback here. Anyone like/dislike, have additional thoughts on this draft ?

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That's a lot of keyboard work! And the brain work behind it, of course. I think your description addresses most of the issues.

 

I guess this means that the pilgrimage to Groundspeak Headquartes is out the door, or the trip to get the only remaining APE Cache in Brazil. Oh, well.

 

I'm also ambivalent about requiring participation in the pilgrimage in order to post a waymark. First, because in general I think requiring any additional performance of some action to create a waymark is not a good direction to go. I guess there are some Waymarking games that do, but this is not a game. Second, and more seriously, doing so would mean requiring a person to participate in a religious observance. That would be like making someone attend mass to waymark a Catholic Church. So, although I understand perfectly the rationale for a participation requirement, I do have serious reservations about it.

 

Maybe there are other ways to prevent the cheap point-and-shoot type waymarks. Maybe requiring coords and photos of both a logical starting point and the final destination. Now, I suppose this could be viewed as requiring participation, but the concept is different, and there may be other ways to get both ends of a pilgrimage without actually participating.

 

Some pilgrimages are tied to special holy days or festivals and take place at designated times. Others can be completed at any time. So, that has to be taken into consideration. If there is a festival or specific pilgrimage season/date then photos of the pilgrimage underway would be appropriate. This is similar to the Festivals category or Agricultural Fairs category that require photos of the activity in progress, though not necessarily of actual participation (if the two could be separated).

 

Anyway, I think it would be great to have a category that's more of a challenge than the store-on-the-corner. It would be a category with few entries, but so what? It would be significant in its own right.

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The Pilgrimage category is now facing peer review. It was kicked around here a month or two back, and now, after careful and diligent consideration by the officers and interested parties, this carefully crafted category is ready and proud to put itself before the Waymarking peerage.

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The Pilgrimage category is now facing peer review. It was kicked around here a month or two back, and now, after careful and diligent consideration by the officers and interested parties, this carefully crafted category is ready and proud to put itself before the Waymarking peerage.

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The Pilgrimage category has been denied in peer review, I am sad to say. The criticisms made came down to lack of prevalence, uninteresting, and too religious. The first is possible, though I do believe that there are at least several hundred pilgrimages in the world suitable for category. The remaining two objections to me do not seem valid, both are subjective, however, the vote is as it is. I would like to thank everyone for their input.

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The Pilgrimage category has been denied in peer review, I am sad to say. The criticisms made came down to lack of prevalence, uninteresting, and too religious. The first is possible, though I do believe that there are at least several hundred pilgrimages in the world suitable for category. The remaining two objections to me do not seem valid, both are subjective, however, the vote is as it is. I would like to thank everyone for their input.

 

Perhaps we need to take another look at the "prevalent" criterion, and how it is being applied.

 

Few categories are going to be strong in ALL four criteria. Something may have the right prevalence (not too many, not too few) but weak in interest. Another may be strong in all areas, but lack world wide distribution.

 

Here was a category that didn't have thousands of potential waymarks, but was strong in interest, or so it seems to me. I think it balanced out. Is there no room for categories that are more than park and shoot? Do we have to find them in every city? Couldn't a category with a smaller number of high interest waymarks make a valuable contribution to our endeavor?

 

There were also some pretty ridiculous comments about the category being too religious. "Jihadist" was one characterization. Really. Nothing like letting one's prejudices hang out. The category might have benefited by finding some way to include "secular" pilgrimages, but I'd like to see someone come up with a definition of what a "secular pilgrimage" might be. Maybe a trip to the original Cache Stash?

 

Perhaps the category, with its long description, was just too overwhelming. But, it was a category that required some effort, some thinking, some digging. It seems there is no room for a category that is a challenge, even if it might result in some fascinating, in depth waymarks. Sad, so sad.

 

Then, let us not complain anymore about Waymarking McDonalds.

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I agree with Silverquill's comments. True these will not be found around every corner but there are more than most people would expect, in just a few minutes of searching I found two in my home state and at least one in most of the surrounding states, I am sure there are more that I didn't find in those few minutes.

 

To have it characterized as "Jihadist" shows ones ignorance, both of the ones in my state that I found were Catholic, one of which attracts 40-60 thousand every year (and I didn't even know about that one)

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Thanks guys for your comments, appreciate.

 

I do reserve the right to apply again in the future. A better case for prevalence and a few tweaks to the category will be made, however, it is a complex subject, and pilgrimages will always have a correspondingly complex description. If some people see that as too religious, or boring, or austere there is not much I can do. I would hope that people would not base their vote solely on their own interests, but take into account the general interest of their fellow waymarkers. Personally, I believe that some interesting waymarks would have emerged. I still oppose the idea of mixing religious and secular pilgrimages. For one thing, as SQ said, just what is a "secular pilgrimage"? More to the point, they are different things.

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Sad to hear it did not make it - yet. I think this would be a great category.

 

I do not think prevalence is an issue. The real issue is what the voters thought how many pilgrimages there are. I bet a thorough research could easily come to far over one thousand pilgrimages worldwide. When you link to a reference many people think this is comprehensive; from this point of view using a resource with only 33 potential targets was a mistake.

 

I do not like the idea to include secular pilgrimages, but I suggest to explicitly include religious processions. They are very common in many parts of the world, especially where Roman Catholics, Orthodox Christians and Hindus live.

 

As for "too religious": it is subjective, but this category as far less religious than many of the church categories. Maybe here something could be done with rephrasing the category description. I guess the majority of the waymarkers are members of a denomination where pilgrimage is not common and they usually do not deal a lot with other religions than their own. If you remove any wish for participation and rewrite the whole thing in a way that it sounds more "ethnological" than "religious", then I guess you could get more Yea votes. (I hope you know, what I mean; it's hard to describe.)

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BTW: I just did a short web research. In 15 minutes I found about 550 pilgrimage locations. Almost 50 of them in the USA. So prevalence is clearly not a problem. People just need to know.

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Q: Nazca lines, they were *believed* to form part of an ancient pilgrimage or ritual act.

Would they be a good example of an ancient pilgrimage or would more proof be needed?

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Q: Nazca lines, they were *believed* to form part of an ancient pilgrimage or ritual act.

Would they be a good example of an ancient pilgrimage or would more proof be needed?

 

A. "*believed*" is not sufficient. A reasonable, and I am a reasonable man, amount of evidence would be required before accepting an ancient, or for that matter, a contemporary pilgrimage.

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