JAKARTA - More than 1.5 million pilgrims from various parts of the world have started a series of Hajj services in 1445 H or 2024 today.

The eighth day of Dzulhijjah 1445 H which falls today, when the congregation gathers to start a series of worship, Yawm Al Tarwiyah said, citing The National News June 14.

During the day, the congregation will walk seven times around the Kaaba which is referred to as tawaf 'welcome' and kiss Hajar Aswad.

In the afternoon, they will head for the hills of Safa and Marwah near the Kaaba, where they run or walk seven times between the two hills.

After, using a bus or on foot, the congregation will start a series of worship from Mina which is about 5 km from Makkah. The congregation will be there until dawn, preparing for Arafah Day.

The Directorate General of Saudi Arabian Passports confirmed that as of Tuesday, 1,547,295 pilgrims had arrived in the country. Authorities said 1,483,312 pilgrims entered Saudi Arabia via airports, while the rest arrived by land and sea.

They will join hundreds of thousands of Saudis and other pilgrims living in Saudi Arabia on Friday.

On Saturday, the congregation will head to Arafah to take part in the wukuf, the peak of the pilgrimage, where they will be there until evening.

After that, the congregation will head to Muzdalifah, a rocky area several kilometers away, where they will spend the night and collect pebbles to be used in throwing stones at the pillars that symbolize the devil (throwing worshipers) in Mina the next day.

After throwing the jamrah, the congregation will slaughter the sacrificial animals, shave (Tahallul) and Tawaf Ifadah or farewell Tawaf.

"I consider myself very lucky to have been chosen to perform this year's pilgrimage and accompany my old father to Mecca to see him perform five pillars of Islam," Bahrain congregation Ahmed Mohammed told The National News.

"Many do not get the opportunity or wait throughout their lives to perform the pilgrimage, but this year we were very happy when we succeeded," he said.

Citing Arab News, this year's pilgrimage was also attended by around 4,200 Palestinian pilgrims from the West Bank. About 1,000 other Palestinian pilgrims came from the death toll or victims of conflict wounds in Gaza who came at the invitation of Saudi Arabian King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.

This year is also the first time since more than a decade ago, there have been pilgrims from Syria on direct flights from Damascus. Previously, they usually crossed into neighboring Turkey to perform the pilgrimage, the impact of the conflict in the country.

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