Saudi Arabia: Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca continues as Eid Al Adha holiday begins

The Hajj pilgrimage continued in the Muslim holy city of Mecca on Friday. Today marks the start of Eid Al Adha, the festival of sacrifice, amid severe restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The third day, known as 'yawm-ul hajj al-akbar' (the big hajj day), sees pilgrims celebrating the Eid al-Adha holiday and performing a symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing seven pebbles at the largest of three columns known as Jamarat in Muzdalifah. Visitors at the mosque appeared to be following restrictions, wearing masks and adhering to social distancing guidelines during prayer. This year, the world's biggest gathering of Muslims has been limited to fewer than 10,000 people, compared to the more than two million that usually take part in the pilgrimage. The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has registered just over 270,000 confirmed cases of coronavirus according to Johns Hopkins University data.

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