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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 society. They are carried out by believers in order to attain a measure of spiritual development and, usually, to gain merit in the eyes of their deity/deities. Individually, pilgrimages vary widely, yet, they usually involve a journey of some challenge, with the goal of reaching a point or points of religious significance. A well known example is the Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca. Another is the Buddhist pilgrimage to Nepalese city of Lumbini—the birthplace of the Buddha.

For a pilgrimage to be suitable for inclusion in this category the following criteria must be met. The pilgrimage must be religious or spiritual in nature, be accepted as valid by its community, and be permanent. This definition includes both the large and long established pilgrimages as well as the smaller and more localised events. We are looking for any and all recurrent pilgrimages.

There is a grey area between the long established pilgrimages, such as those described above, and what could be called 'folk pilgrimages'. These are local events, which may attract visitors, centred around a community legend or belief. It is impossible to give precise guidelines on these events, but if it can be demonstrated that the primary focus of the event is spiritual, and not simply a days recreational outing, then the pilgrimage is acceptable here.

Included in the above are pilgrimages that are no longer performed. An example of this would be the Eleusinian Mysteries of ancient Greece. Such extinct pilgrimages may be waymarked, provided that adequate documentation can be demonstrated, and the above set of criteria can be met.

Secular 'pilgrimages' such as 'music pilgrimages', or visits to sites such as Apple Inc (the Mothership), at Cupertino, California are not acceptable here.

There are lists of pilgrimages available. Wikipedia would be a starting point. A scholarly article on pilgrimages is: (visit link) This lists 33 'major' pilgrimages.

There is the question as to whether the waymarker should undertake the pilgrimage. This would be preferred, but will not always be possible. This having been said, we would prefer if the waymarker completed at least part of the pilgrimage, rather than simply walking (flying?) to the pilgrimage terminus. This would make possible a more complete description of the experience.
Instructions for Posting a Pilgrimages Waymark:
First, a suitable physical 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, however, it may be that more than one waymark is needed to fully describe a pilgrimage. An example of a multiple-waymark pilgrimage is the Hindu pilgrimage of Kumbh Mela. This consists of a combined set of pilgrimages performed at intervals of six, twelve, and one hundred and forty four years, with four destinations.

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 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 waymark 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 challenging for locals. If you reach the base, but do not walk around the mountain, you would have a compelling case for creating a waymark at this starting point. (If you walk the 53kms, honourary lifetime rank as a category officer.)

The decision to create multiple waymarks for a single pilgrimage must be justified in the long description. 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 description comparable to the pilgrimage.

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

Description: details, history, numbers.
Photography: lots.

starting point
end point
length of pilgrimage

intermediate important locations
cost estimate
specific times and dates of pilgrimage (if any)
special permissions
Instructions for Visiting a Waymark in this Category:
A description of your journey, a photograph of the waymark, and any additional or updated information.
Category Settings:
  • Waymarks can be added to this category
  • New waymarks of this category are reviewed by the category group prior to being published
  • Category is visible in the directory
  • Religion(s)
  • End point of pilgrimage
  • Cost estimate
  • Date(s) of pilgrimage.
  • Specific difficulties
  • Permissions