Holy 'Gaokao' worship site goes up in flames

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A "holy tree" believed to bring good luck to candidates of the national college entrance exam caught fire early on Monday.

Close to a thousand parents rushed to a lane in Maotanchang town, Liuan city, Anhui province, on the early morning of June 1 to pay homage to the "holy tree" in the hopes that it would help their children score well in the upcoming Gaokao exam.

However, too many sticks of burning incense ignited a small fire at the holy site. Luckily, the fire did not spread before it was put out.

Shen Hao, a former student of Maotanchang middle school, which is situated near the lane, said parents and students started praying to the "holy tree" for good marks in exams many years ago. But he did not know how it became holy, according to thepaper.cn.

Another senior resident said the tree was planted in the lane decades ago.

Maotanchang middle school, dubbed the "biggest Gaokao factory in Asia", saw more than 10,000 students attend the 2014 Gaokao exam.

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