Facts:August 19, 2018 – The Hajj pilgrimage is expected to start (dates may vary slightly for different countries depending on the sighting of the moon).READ: Hajj 2016: Chaotic but unforgettable — experiencing holy pilgrimage.Hajj, Hadj or Hadjdj – the spelling HAJJ is the preferred CNN style.Other Facts:Performing Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam.Read MoreIslam requires every Muslim who is physically and financially able to make the journey to the holy city of Mecca at least once in his or her life.JUST WATCHEDWhat is the Hajj pilgrimage?ReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH
What is the Hajj pilgrimage? 01:46Hajj occurs two months and ten days after Ramadan ends, during the Islamic month of Dhul-Hijjah.The height of Hajj corresponds with the major Islamic holy day Eid al-Adha, which commemorates Abraham’s readiness to sacrifice his son on Divine orders.The pilgrimage, conducted over five days, includes numerous detailed rituals including wearing a special garment that symbolizes human equality and unity before God, a circular, counter-clockwise procession around the Kaaba, and the symbolic stoning of evil.JUST WATCHEDWhat it’s like experiencing Hajj first hand.ReplayMore Videos …MUST WATCH
What it’s like experiencing Hajj first hand. 03:01Kaaba (Ka’bah), a cube-shaped structure draped in black silk, is the most sacred shrine of Islam and the chief goal of the pilgrimage.There is a black stone enclosed in a silver ring in the eastern corner of the Kaaba. Muslims believe that the stone was given to Abraham by the angel Gabriel. Participants touch or kiss the stone to end the ceremony around the Kaaba.People who have completed the pilgrimage may add the phrase al-Hajj or hajji (pilgrim) to their names.Incidents/Stampedes:1987 – More than 400 people, mainly Iranian Shiite pilgrims, are killed in clashes with Saudi security forces during anti-Western protests in Mecca.1990 – 1,426 pilgrims are trampled to death.1994 – A stampede near Jamarat Bridge kills 270 pilgrims.April 1997 – A fire in Mina, Saudi Arabia, tears through a sprawling, overcrowded tent city, trapping and killing more than 340 pilgrims and injuring 1,500.