Pilgrimage and Tourism

A pilgrimage can be thought of as ‘a meaningful journey’. As a topic of study, it emerged from anthropological literature that was interested in rites of passage; that is, rituals used to pass a person from one stage of life to the next (e.g., childhood to adulthood). Scholars originally thought of pilgrimages as ritual transformations of the spiritual status of an individual. While there is debate about what is and is not ‘pilgrimage’, the general consensus is that it involves a person, or more commonly a group of people, making a trip to a place or area that is special to them in some way. Traditionally, pilgrimage was associated with religious groups—the word itself comes from the Latin peregrinus, meaning ‘foreigner’—though the forces of secularisation ...

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