More than two million Muslims are estimated to have started the 3-day annual Hajj or pilgrimage to most sacred site of Islam The Kaaba, located in the Saudi city of Mecca. Also pay homage to Prophet Muhammad at the final resting place in Madina, Saudi Arabia. All Muslims around the world celebrate Eid-ul-Adha as a day of sacrifice on the tenth day of the last month of Islamic calendar.
Most of the pilgrims concentrated on Mecca, birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, to begin the rituals corresponding to one of the five commandments of Islam.
Celebrations of Eid-ul-Adha, are one of the two festive occasions of Islam, other one being Eid-ul-Fitr. Eid-ul-Adha is in remembrance of great sacrifice of Prophet Abraham. Muslim around the world sacrifice Camel’s, Cows, Goats and Lambs. Their meat is shared to the poor and homeless along with neighbors and relatives.
Wearing new clothes and early morning communal prayers are the rituals on this Eid, followed by animal sacrifice. Evening are usually spent with friends and relatives over sumptuous feast with assorted meat dishes.
For Hajj arrangements, the Saudi authorities adopted strict security measures and placed several health and information points to avoid accidents during the five days of the religious process.
Every Muslim in physical and financial conditions is obliged at least once in his life to visit the sacred sites of Islam, two of them in Saudi Arabia and a third in Jerusalem.
Hajj starts with the day of Taruia, dedicated to pray, read and recite passages from the Koran or to discuss religious issues in Mina, seven kilometers east of Mecca.
It is believed that Abraham or Ibrahim went there to fulfill the divine order to sacrifice his son Ishmael, then revoked by God who gave him a lamb to behead him.
The journey to that place should be made with the ihram, a two-piece white cloth without seams for men and a long tunic of the same color for women that only allows the hands and face to be seen.
On that last day, Hajis or pillgrims will complete seven laps around the Kaaba counterclockwise and begin the Feast of Sacrifice, considered the main Islamic holiday that lasts for four days.
The Kaaba is a cubic building covered with a black cloth, in one of whose vertices is embedded the Black Stone, considered by the Muslims as a piece torn from paradise.
The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, together with the Shahada – faith formation -, almsgiving, prayer and fasting in the Holy Month of Ramadan.