Nearly 15 Million Pilgrims Arrive in Mecca for 2018 Hajj

Rabat- This year, 1,486,958 foreign pilgrims landed in Saudi Arabia for the 2018 Hajj pilgrimage, which begins August 20 and ends August 24. The Hajj begins the eighth day of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah, which falls on Monday, August 20, and ends on the twelfth day (August 24).According to the Saudi General Directorate of Passports, 1,392,928 Muslims arrived by air, 78,282 arrived by land, and 15,748 arrived by sea, representing authorities called a 7 percent (10,529 people) decrease in Hajj arrivals compared to 2017 in the same period. Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Hajj and Umrah previously reported that it had completed preparations for the current Hajj pilgrimage to host more than 2 million pilgrims from more than 80 countries, including Morocco, whose first group of pilgrims arrived on July 27.  Saudi Arabia has undertaken major expansion projects to improve the Hajj experience.The city of Mecca is adding more space in order to avoid tragic incidents such as the stampede that killed thousands of people during the 2015 Hajj pilgrimage.Every year, thousands of Muslims across the world flock to the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, the holiest site in Islam, to perform their pilgrimage.Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam. All Muslims who are physically and financially capable are required to perform the pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime.During Hajj, pilgrims are required to make Tawaf, circling seven times around the Kaaba in a counter-clockwise direction.Pilgrims also celebrate Eid Al Adha on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah.The oldest males in Muslim families slaughter a sheep or goat to make the sacrifice.This year, Morocco will celebrate Eid al-Adha on Wednesday, August 22, as the Ministry of Islamic Affairs confirmed. read more