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In religion and spirituality, a pilgrimage is a very long quest/journey or search of great moral significance. Sometimes, it is a journey to a shrine of importance to a person's beliefs and faith. Members of many major religions participate in pilgrimages. A person who makes such a journey is called a pilgrim.

The Holy Land acts as a focal point for the pilgrimages of the Abrahamic religions such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam and the Bahá'í Faith.

In the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, the visitation of certain ancient cult-centers was repressed in the 7th century BCE, when worship was restricted to the LORD at the temple in Jerusalem. In Syria, the shrine of Astarte at the headwater spring of the river Adonis survived until it was destroyed by order of Emperor Constantine[citation needed] in the 4th century.

In mainland Greece, a stream of individuals made their way to Delphi or the oracle of Zeus at Dodona, and once every four years, at the period of the Olympic games, the temple of Zeus at Olympia formed the goal of swarms of pilgrims from every part of the Hellenic world. When Alexander the Great reached Egypt, he put his whole vast enterprise on hold, while he made his way with a small band deep into the Libyan desert, to consult the oracle of Ammun. During the imperium of his Ptolemaic heirs, the shrine of Isis at Philae received many votive inscriptions from Greeks on behalf of their kindred far away at home.

Although a pilgrimage is normally viewed in the context of religion, the personality cults cultivated by communist leaders ironically gave birth to pilgrimages of their own. Prior to the demise of the USSR in 1991, a visit to Lenin's Mausoleum in Red Square, Moscow can be said to have had all the characteristics exhibiting a pilgrimage—for Communists. This type of pilgrimage to a personality cult is still evident today on people who pay visits of homage to Mao Zedong, Kim Il Sung and Ho Chi Minh.

As a common human experience, pilgrimage has been proposed as a new Jungian archetype by Wallace Clift and Jean Dalby Clift.[1]


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