Every year, over two million Muslims visit the country of Saudi Arabia to perform something called Hajj (say “HA-dge”). And Muslims have been doing this for hundreds of years! Keep reading to find out more about this special tradition.

Hajj is a pilgrimage, or journey, that Muslims must make once in their lifetime, as long as they can afford it and are healthy enough.

It is one of the five pillars of Islam (the religion Muslims follow). These five pillars are important ways Muslims practise their religion, and they include faith, prayer, charity, fasting and Hajj.

The Kaaba is a large square building in the middle of the Great Mosque of Mecca. During Hajj, pilgrims must walk around it seven times counterclockwise to ensure that the Kaaba remains on their left side. When Muslims pray five times in a day, wherever they are in the world, they face the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca. It is the most important building in the Islamic religion.

(Text by: CBC / Kaaba Photo Courtesy: Amalia Fonk Utomo)