In ancient China the Earth was believed to be square, with five sacred mountains, one in each corner, and one in the center, that held up the heavens. The Chinese brought this myth to life by identifying the five mountains, choosing them because of their affects on the land around them: their ability to bring clouds, rain, and snow. In essence the mountains determined the success or failure of the farmlands. The five mountains became home to home to permanent religious establishments and rituals, and it is still common practice for Chinese citizens to climb these mountains (Schafer, Edward 1974). We visited two of the sacred mountains, Mountain Tai was only an hour away from us on the fast train, and was located in the same city that our friend Sonya’s family was from. It is considered the most sacred of all five mountains because of it’s position to the East, a sacred direction due to the rise of the sun and moon (Watt, Louise, 2017). It has a special place in my heart for these reasons. Read about our hike up Mountain Tai here: Climbing Mountain Tai.
The other mountain we climbed was Mountain Hua, which is located near Xian, the city best known for the terracotta warriors. Click here to read about our hike up Mountain Hua: Climbing Mountain Hua.
Schafer, Edward. Great Ages of Man Ancient China. Time Life, 1974.
Watt, Louise. “Climbing the 6,000 Steps up Mount Tai, China’s Most Sacred Mountain.” The Denver Post, The Denver Post, 10 May 2017, http://www.denverpost.com/2017/05/09/climbing-the-6000-steps-up-mount-tai-chinas-most-sacred-mountain/.