Photographer's Note

An 'ovoo' or a sacred pile of stones, on the hill behind 'Garage 24' hostel, in Khatsgal town, over on the right. Lake Khovsgol can be seen in the distance. From Wikipedia:

"An ovoo (Mongolian: овоо, heap) is a type of shamanistic rock cairn found in Mongolia. Ovoos are often found at the top of mountains and high places and at borders and cross-roads. They serve as both navigational aids in a country with few roads and fewer signs, and religious sites, used in worship of the mountains and the sky as well as in Buddhist ceremonies.

Travelers in Mongolia should not pass by an ovoo without stopping. They are expected to stop and circle the ovoo three times in a clockwise direction. They should pick up a rock from the ground and add it to the pile before leaving. Also, travelers may leave offerings in the form of money, milk, or vodka.

Worshippers place a tree branch or stick in the ovoo and tie a blue khadag, a ceremonial silk scarf symbolic of the open sky, to the branch.[1] They then light a fire and make food offerings, followed by a ceremonial dance and prayers (worshippers sitting at the northwest side of the ovoo), and a feast with the food left over from the offering.

During Mongolia's Communist period, ovoo worship was officially prohibited along with other forms of religion, but people still worshipped clandestinely"

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Additional Photos by Chris Jules (ChrisJ) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 15904 W: 1056 N: 33501] (155529)
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