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Last Updated: Tuesday January 18 2005 15:08 GMT

Annual Hajj pilgrimage

The Hajj is an annual pilgrimage which Muslims are expected to complete at least once in their life, as long as they are physically strong enough and can afford to do it.
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The Hajj is an annual pilgrimage which Muslims are expected to complete at least once in their life, as long as they are physically strong enough and can afford to do it.
Every year about two million Muslims travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. They often  have to travel thousands of miles to get there.
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Every year about two million Muslims travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. They often have to travel thousands of miles to get there.
When the pilgrims arrive in Mecca they go to the Great Mosque and walk round the Kaaba seven times in an anti-clockwise direction. The Kaaba is a square building in the centre of the mosque .
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When the pilgrims arrive in Mecca they go to the Great Mosque and walk round the Kaaba seven times in an anti-clockwise direction. The Kaaba is a square building in the centre of the mosque .
As part of the pilgrimage Muslims visit other sites around Mecca. These pilgrims are visiting a cave in the Mount of Light which is about 6km from Mecca.
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As part of the pilgrimage Muslims visit other sites around Mecca. These pilgrims are visiting a cave in the Mount of Light which is about 6km from Mecca.
Millions of people arrive in Mecca at the same time so it is important that there is strict security to make sure no one is hurt in the huge crowds.
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Millions of people arrive in Mecca at the same time so it is important that there is strict security to make sure no one is hurt in the huge crowds.
Pilgrims wear white clothes while on the pilgrimage and have to obey certain rules. For example, they must not fight or argue, wear scented oils or perfumes or cut their nails.
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Pilgrims wear white clothes while on the pilgrimage and have to obey certain rules. For example, they must not fight or argue, wear scented oils or perfumes or cut their nails.
Muslim pilgrims also drink water from the Zamzam well which is under the Great Mosque. Pilgrims often collect the water in bottles to take back to their own countries.
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Muslim pilgrims also drink water from the Zamzam well which is under the Great Mosque. Pilgrims often collect the water in bottles to take back to their own countries.
The Hajj takes place over five days and gives Muslims from across the world a chance to worship together.
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The Hajj takes place over five days and gives Muslims from across the world a chance to worship together.


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