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Date set for start of pilgrimage

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Saudi Arabia’s high court has declared November 15 the start of hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Islam’s holy sites.

The kingdom’s official SPA news agency said the court confirmed the sighting of the new moon.

According to the lunar calendar, hajj begins nine days into the 12th month of the year – making the start November 15 this year in the Gregorian calendar.

The annual Islamic pilgrimage draws millions of worshippers, making it the largest yearly gathering of people in the world.

The event focuses on Mecca, Islam’s holiest site and the birthplace of the Prophet Mohammad.

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