What is the hajj?

The hajj — Arabic for “journey” — is a five-day religious journey to Mecca and adjacent heavenly destinations in Saudi Arabia that all Muslims who are physically and monetarily capable must perform at any rate once in their lives. It is one of the five columns, or obligations, of Islam, alongside the calling of confidence in the one God and Mohammed as his prophet, supplication, beneficent giving, and fasting amid the heavenly month of Ramadan.

The hajj happens just once per year, in the twelfth and last month of the Islamic lunar logbook; journeys to Mecca made at different circumstances in the year are empowered however don’t consider the hajj. Since the Islamic lunar schedule is around 11 days shorter than the 365 days of the standard Gregorian timetable, the planning of the hajj goes in reverse every year.

Over the five days of the hajj, travelers play out a progression of customs intended to symbolize their solidarity with different devotees and to pay tribute to God. On the most recent three days of the hajj, travelers — and every single other Muslim around the globe — observe Eid al-Adha or the Festival of Sacrifice. This is one of the two noteworthy religious occasions Muslims commend each year. (The other is Eid al-Fitr, which comes toward the finish of Ramadan.)

Toward the finish of the hajj, travelers return home and are regularly given the honorific “hajji,” which means one who has played out the hajj. (One fascinating note here: During the Iraq War, US troops much of the time utilized the expression “hajji” as an unfavorable term for any Iraqi, Arab, or other individuals of Middle Eastern or South Asian plunge. So in spite of the fact that they unquestionably didn’t mean it along these lines, and it probably wasn’t taken thusly by the individual on the less than desirable end of the slur, US troops were coincidentally applying a term of regard and respect to these people.)