Millions of Muslims Go On the Hajj
About two and a half million Muslims are in Mecca to celebrate their annual pilgrimage , the Hajj.
The pilgrims come by foot, public transportation and cars. This year a special train built by Chinese companies brings them to the holy site.
Every healthy Muslim must fulfill the Hajj at least once in their lifetime. They believe that such a journey will relieve them of their sins . The hajj lasts for five days. In the past years there have been many incidents , like fires and demonstrations by protestors. In 2006 hundreds of pilgrims were crushed to death.
When pilgrims get to Mecca they go to the Grand Mosque. They must move around the Kaaba, which contains a black stone seven times.
Then they go to a camp in the valley of Mina and climb up a rocky hill, Mount Arafat. It is the place where the Prophet Muhammad delivered his last speech. They retrace the same route that Prophet Mohammad went 1400 years ago.
Many Muslims around the world the hajj is a once in a lifetime experience . Some save money their whole life so that they can travel to Mecca once. Saudi officials say about 1.7 million people come from foreign countries.
Grand Mosque During the Hajj
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- annual = yearly
- celebrate = a ceremony or event at which you do something special
- contain = to have in it
- crush = squeeze , press
- deliver = make
- foreign = from another country
- fulfil = do, carry out
- grand = great
- incident = here: something dangerous that happened
- journey = trip
- official = a high-ranking person in an organization or the government
- once in a lifetime = something that happens to you only once in your life
- pilgrimage = a trip to a holy place for religious reasons
- public transportation = bus, tram, train etc...
- relieve = forgive
- retrace = go back again
- sin = an action that is against the rules of God