Muslims celebrated the first day of Eid Al-Adha on Tuesday, which marks the closing parts of the Hajj pilgrimage.
The massive crowds had spent the previous night camped out in Muzdalifah, having performed the most important of the Hajj rituals, visiting mount Arafat.
They had also endured poor weather conditions, which ranged from the intense heat of the summer sun, rain and sandstorms.
On Tuesday, clad in white robes, shaded only by umbrellas, the 2.4 million pilgrims from 165 countries walked to the complex at Jamarat to throw pebbles at three columns. It is here that Muslims believe the devil tried to talk the Prophet Ibrahim out of submitting to God’s will.
Muslims believe Ibrahim’s faith was tested when God commanded him to sacrifice his only son Hazrat Ismail. The pilgrims perform the stoning ritual, where they gather at three pillars that represent the Devil.
They throw three stones, each bringing them closer to God as they repent the Devil.
The stoning ritual area is on a multi-level structure that surrounds the pillars with a walkway to and away the site to ensure the safety of the millions of pilgrims.
The final days of Hajj coincide with the Eid al-Adha holiday, or “Feast of Sacrifice.” Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Tuesday expressed his pleasure to serve fellow Muslims undertaking this year’s Hajj pilgrims.
“The greatest honor that God has honored our country is its service to the guests of the Rahman, and with Eid Al-Adha, I call upon him to complement the pilgrims and to perpetuate good and peace for our nation and the rest of the country,” the kingdom’s ruler posted in Arabic in his Twitter account.
King Salman arrived in Mina, in the holy city of Makkah on Monday, to supervise services being provided to almost 2.4 million Muslims gathered for the annual Hajj pilgrimage, one of the largest annual global gatherings.
He was accompanied by several senior officials, including Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif.