Basic Information About the Traditional Hajj Islamic Pilgrimage

Muslim pilgrims get ready to pray in Mecca

Every year, millions of Muslims from around the world make the journey to Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for the annual pilgrimage (or Hajj). Dressed in the same simple white clothing to represent human equality, the pilgrims gather to perform rites dating back to the time of Abraham.

Hajj Basics

Makkah During Hajj
Muslims gather in Makkah for Hajj in 2010. Foto24/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Hajj is considered one of the five "pillars" of Islam. Muslims are required to make the pilgrimage once in their lifetime if they are physically and financially able to make the journey to Mecca.

Dates of the Hajj

Hajj is the largest annual gathering on earth of human beings in one place at the same time. There are specified days each year to perform the pilgrimage, during the Islamic month of "Dhul-Hijjah" (the Month of Hajj).

Performing the Hajj

The Hajj has specified schedules and rites that are followed by all pilgrims. If you plan to travel for Hajj, you need to contact an authorized travel agent and familiarize yourself with the pilgrimage rites

Eid al-Adha

After the completion of Hajj, Muslims around the world observe a special holiday called "Eid al-Adha" (the Festival of Sacrifice)