As the days get ever shorter Deepavali carries hope with it into the darkness which lies ahead. On the darkest night of the new moon in the month of Kartika, Hindus, Jains, and Sikhs will celebrate in their own way, but for each, over the course of the five days of festivities, the lighting of candles and … Continue reading By the light of the Moon
Trees and pilgrimage have been linked since ancient times, not least in the autumn
During the research for my book We are Pilgrims I encountered many pilgrim travellers but none quite like Martin Gray. Over the course of 38 years, this photographer and anthropologist has visited thousands of pilgrim sites and sacred places in 160 countries across the globe. His web-site World Pilgrimage Guide is an essential source of information for anyone contemplating … Continue reading A Life of Pilgrimage
Lying in his prison cell, Pandit Nehru dreamt of liberation for India and imagined a new secular age which would cast superstition aside to allow this ancient civilisation to embrace modernity, with all the freedoms that promised. During his many periods of incarceration he wrote extensively to his daughter about his love of India and … Continue reading Dreams of Liberation
“At the call of an idea they had left their forests, their clearings, the protection of their rulers, their prosperity, their poverty, the surroundings of their youth and the graves of their fathers” (Joseph Conrad - Lord Jim) In recent years, there has been a significant expansion of non-religious pilgrimage, especially in Europe where many … Continue reading Reason #3 – Faith
Polish photographer Michal Iwanowski recently walked from his home in the UK to his family home of Mokrzeszow in Poland: a journey of over 1000 miles. His journey was prompted by graffiti saying 'Go home Polish' scrawled on a wall in Cardiff. Is this a pilgrimage? There is certainly a tradition of ritually returning to … Continue reading Does pilgrimage have to be religious?