The Hajj and Eid al-Adha 2011

The Hajj, the fifth pillar of Islam and one of the largest religious pilgrimages in the world, is currently taking place in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Starting last Friday and continuing through Wednesday, some 3 million Muslims from around the globe are participating in several rituals, including the Tawaf -- the circumambulation of the Kaaba, the enormous cube-shaped building in the center of the Masjid al-Haram mosque. The pilgrims are are also taking part in the Sa'i, traveling back and forth between the mountains of Al-Safa and Al-Marwah, and Ramy al-Jamarat, in which they throw pebbles at three walls in the city of Mina to show their defiance of the Devil. Directly after the Hajj, Muslims all over the world will observe Eid al-Adha, or the Festival of Sacrifice. The feast honors Abraham who, according to Muslim tradition, was prepared to sacrifice his son Ishmael before God sent a ram in his place. To commemorate this event, worshippers sacrifice sheep, cows, and camels, and share the meat among family, neighbors, and the needy. Collected here are scenes of this year's Hajj and Eid al-Adha, from Mecca and around the globe.

Read more
Hints: View this page full screen. Skip to the next and previous photo by typing j/k or ←/→.

Most Recent

  • Mahmud Hams / AFP / Getty

    Photos of the Week: Pride Lights, Paddy Day, Grizzly Swim

    A new waterslide in the Czech Republic, a cat on the Algerian waterfront, a grotto reopening in Italy, burying a coronavirus victim in Russia, a wildfire in Colorado, and much more

  • Steve Helber / AP

    The Statues Brought Down Since the George Floyd Protests Began

    Images of some of the dozens of statues that have been toppled, defaced, or slated for removal across the U.S. over the past month

  • Shahid Ali / AFP / Getty

    Photos: The Locust Swarms of 2020

    Images from hard-hit areas in Kenya, Pakistan, India, Nepal, and Yemen, taken over recent months

  • Michelle Sole / Shutterstock

    Scenes From Antarctica

    Recent images of the Antarctic landscape, wildlife, and research facilities, as well as some of the work taking place there