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SAUDI ARABIA *24-29 Oct 2012 Hajj ritual draws world’s Muslims
More than 3 million pilgrims from 70 countries will begin the 5-day ritual in October that able-bodied Muslims are expected to complete i

October 24, 2012 - NULL

SAUDI ARABIA *24-29 Oct 2012 Hajj ritual draws world's Muslims
More than 3 million pilgrims from 70 countries will begin the 5-day ritual in October that able-bodied Muslims are expected to complete in their lifetime at Islam's holiest shrine, Mecca. The date is determined by the waxing of the crescent moon, following a new moon, and is estimated to be between Oct 24 and 29. The pilgrimage to the site believed to be the birthplace of Mohammed is said to be the largest annual gathering of people in the world, and as number grows each year, pollution has

SAUDI ARABIA *24-29 Oct 2012 Hajj ritual draws world's Muslims
More than 3 million pilgrims from 70 countries will begin the 5-day ritual in October that able-bodied Muslims are expected to complete in their lifetime at Islam's holiest shrine, Mecca. The date is determined by the waxing of the crescent moon, following a new moon, and is estimated to be between Oct 24 and 29. The pilgrimage to the site believed to be the birthplace of Mohammed is said to be the largest annual gathering of people in the world, and as number grows each year, pollution has become a big problem. An association founded in 2011 hopes to encourage pilgrims and to adopt environmentally sustainable practices at the shrine.

Food waste, fumes from coaches traveling around the city, the energy used by area hotels and by the planes and other conveyances of pilgrims traveling to and from Mecca are among the pollutants associated with the pilgrimage. As many as 100 million plastic water bottles were dumped by pilgrims during the Hajj in 2010, according to a study conducted by the Faith Regen Foundation and reported by CNN. The organization notes that Mecca's authorities have yet to make adequate provisions for recycling.

The Alliance of Regions and Conservation, working with the World Wildlife Fund, launched the Green Pilgrimage Network in 2011. The organization says the aim is to "help the faiths make their holy cities and sacred sites as environmentally sustainable as possible, according to their own theologies and understanding." Its booklet, "The Green Guide for Hajj," promotes ecologically-sustainable practices among Hajj pilgrims.

ARC points out that collectively, pilgrimage is the world's largest reason to travel. (WRITTEN JUL 2012)

RELATED READING:

Green Pilgrimage Network
http://www.arcworld.org/projects.asp?projectID=521

World's First Green Pilgrimage Network Launches At End of October (Treehugger 10 Oct 2011)
http://www.treehugger.com/natural-sciences/worlds-first-green-pilgrimage-network-launches-at-end-of-october.html

Holy cities face threat from polluting pilgrims (CNN 9 Nov 2011)
http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/08/world/meast/hajj-pilgrimage-climate-change/index.html?hpt=wo_t3

Ministry of Hajj, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
http://www.hajinformation.com/Hajjdates2012.htm

What is the Hajj? (BBC 27 Dec 2006)
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/4180965.stm

Date written/update: 2012-10-24