Upon arrival in Mecca the pilgrim, now known as a Hajji, performs a series of ritual acts symbolic of the lives of Abraham and his wife Hagar. The acts also symbolize the solidarity of Muslims worldwide.

The greater Hajj (al-hajj al-akbar) begins on the eighth day of the lunar month of Dhu al-Hijjah. If they are not already wearing it upon their arrival, pilgrims put on ihram clothing and then leave Mecca for the nearby town of Mina where they spend the rest of the day. The Saudi government has put up thousands of large white tents at Mina to provide accommodations for all the pilgrims.

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