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One of the columns I am working on in the District Survey is Festivals.

When a province or a district has a festival or a pilgrimage site that draws people from other places it represents several things.

There is obviously a spiritual component at work.

It’s also an enormous stamp of perceived credibility: the idea that “all these people are coming on pilgrimage to where we live, so our belief must be right” (this was the case with the Temple in Israel too).

Third there are economic ramifications: people who come must stay somewhere, eat somewhere, maybe hire guides, and so on.

Fourth there can be political and cultural influence (as in a holy city).

These factors can make the spread of the gospel difficult. But it doesn’t mean it’s impossible. Those who come on pilgrimage are usually spiritual seekers, and those who live in the area can be more spiritually aware than in other places. Nevertheless there can be challenges. So knowing where the challenges are can be important.

If you know of a pilgrimage or festival important in your area that brings in a significant population (i.e. Over 100,000 say) I’d love to hear about it (justinlong@gmail.com). When I have the column finished it will be a map.