Up in the mountains are the mountain spirits. Shan Shen (山神) in Chinese, the mountain spirits are said to watch over the mountains. If you walk enough around the mountains and hills of Qingdao, you will enounter shan shen miao (山神庙), or mountain spirit shrines.
Laoshan has numerous of these shrines. All you need to do is go to Laoshan and start walking around the valleys at the bottom of the mountain. You’re sure to find some. Often there will be fruit left at the shrines. People burn incense there. It is believed that offerings left there will be received by the mountain spirits.
These pictures here are from a mountain spirit shrine in the hilly, low-mountain region to the northwest of Xiaozhushan. This fellow’s name is Xing, and there are numerous Xings living in the area. On the day of these photos, just before Xing came to the shrine, another fellow was walking away from the shrine. He was the one who clarified for me that the mountain spirits are watching over the area. He waved his arm to demonstrate the area which these mountain spirits watch.
Essentially, it was the whole valley area which we were in, in between mountains on both sides of us.
These traditions go back hundreds and hundreds of years. It is real history alive right before our eyes. This Mr. Xing is a real funny guy, too. If you see him, tell him I said hello.
Gars on QINGDAO(nese)