Happy Moments! Saudi Arabia Hajj: Millions begin annual pilgrimage

Happy Moments! Saudi Arabia Hajj: Millions begin annual pilgrimage


About 1.5 million Muslims have begun the annual Hajj pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, unperturbed by a 2015 stampede which killed more than 2,000 individuals.

But thousands of Shia Iranians are absent because of long-running tensions with Sunni Saudi Arabia.

The pilgrimage is one of the largest religious gatherings in the world.

Following preliminary rituals at the Grand Mosque in Mecca before this week, the pilgrims will on Saturday make their way by bus, train or on foot in soaring temperatures of 40C to Mina, about 5km (three miles) to the east.

As the Prophet Muhammad did about 1,400 years ago. they are making the same journey
Saturday is the first day of the Hajj and is the time when pilgrims will water their animals and replenish water supplies.

On Sunday they’ll travel to Mount Arafat, several kilometres away, for what will be the main part of the pilgrimage.

A vast sweep of white fireproof tents has been pitched at Mina, to accommodate in excess of 2.5 million pilgrims.

The stampede in Mina last September is considered to be the worst disaster in Hajj history.

The rite will begin on Monday this year, officials say.

Saudi Arabia has consistently downplayed the amount of victims. No conclusions are released although an investigation has been announced by it.

Iran believes while the Saudis accuse Iran of making demands that are excessive, the Saudis are not doing enough to secure the safety of the pilgrims.

Both states do not have diplomatic relations and are at loggerheads over a series of regional problems such as the battles in Syria and Yemen.

The Sally Nabil in Saudi Arabia of the BBC says that security measures this season are tight, with the swelling crowds being organised by teams of officers and trying to prevent madness.

So that they’ll quickly be identified to all pilgrims, have now been issued in the function of another puppy love, electronic bracelets.