[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC News
watch One-Minute World News
Last Updated: Thursday, 20 January 2005, 17:58 GMT
In pictures: Hajj pilgrims 'stone Satan'

The sun rises over the tent city of Mina, outside Mecca, early on Thursday

Dawn breaks over pilgrims' tents in Mina, outside Mecca, on the third day of the Hajj pilgrimage.

Muslim pilgrims shuffle towards the pillars symbolising Satan in Mina, near Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Pilgrims make their way towards pillars in Mina. Stewards are on hand to keep order on historically the most dangerous day of the pilgrimage due to the crowds and stampedes.

Female pilgrims are guarded by men after throwing pebbles at pillars in Mina, outside Mecca, Saudi Arabia

Women pilgrims - who normally remove face coverings for the ceremony - join in.

Pilgrims throw pebbles at pillars representing Satan in the final ritual of the Muslim pilgrimage of Hajj in Mina, outside Mecca, Saudi Arabia

The pilgrims throw stones at pillars where Satan is said to have tempted the Prophet Abraham. The action is a refutation of the temptations of the Devil.

Pilgrims stone a wall representing Satan in the Mina valley, just outside the Saudi holy city of Mecca

Since the last Hajj, the pillars have been replaced with wide walls allowing more pilgrims to participate and to protect others on the other side.

Instructions for the stoning of pillars appear on screens nearby at Mina, outside the Saudi holy city of Mecca

Saudi authorities have spent millions of dollars improving safety measures at the pilgrimage, which attracts over two million faithful. Digital screens provide instructions in Arabic, left, English and other languages.

Pilgrims pray after throwing stones at a pillar representing the devil in Mina outside Mecca, Saudi Arabia on Thursday

After throwing stones, pilgrims pray...

Pilgrims have their hair shaved on Thursday after throwing stones at pillars representing Satan in Mina, Saudi Arabia

... and shave their heads, or cut some hair off. They then walk back to Mecca, where many repeat the Tawaf - walking around the Kaaba building seven times.

A Saudi policeman watches pilgrims who perform a symbolic stoning of the devil in Mina, Saudi Arabia

About 10,000 security forces are on patrol and as yet no accidents or stampedes have been reported - unlike last year, when 251 pilgrims were trampled to death.

Muslims attend a sunrise Eid Al Adha prayer service at Baiturrahim Mosque, on Thursday, in Ulee-Lheue, Aceh, Indonesia.

Muslims in other parts of the world also celebrate the holiday of Eid al-Adha. Here, a prayer service at a mosque near Banda Aceh, an Indonesian city crushed by December's tsunami.

What is the Hajj?
18 Jan 05 |  Middle East


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific