Around two million Muslims from around the world are beginning the five-day Hajj pilgrimage on Saturday. They will circle Islam’s most sacred site, the cube-shaped Kaaba in the Saudi Arabian city of Mecca, and take part in a series of rituals intended to bring about greater humility and unity among Muslims.
Here’s a look at the pilgrimage and what it means for Muslims:
What is the purpose of the Hajj?
The Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and all able-bodied Muslims are required to perform it once in their lifetime. The Hajj is seen as a chance to wipe clean past sins and start fresh. Many seek to deepen their faith on the Hajj, with women taking on the Islamic hair covering known as “hijab” upon returning from the pilgrimage.
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