With coronavirus spreading across the globe and lockdowns in place practically everywhere, doubt has been cast over any plans that had originally been scheduled over the next few months. That includes the upcoming season of Hajj, due to take place in July.
The pilgrimage typically sees over two million people travel to Mecca every year, but with Saudi Arabia reaching almost 13,000 cases of coronavirus, the likelihood of the holy pilgrimage being cancelled is pretty high.
Hajj being cancelled is quite significant, but not unusual in exceptional circumstances. Once it becomes officially cancelled, the move would mark the 40th time it will have been postponed since its beginning in 629 (it was most notably closed in 1831, when a plague killed three-quarters of pilgrims in Mecca). Nonetheless, this would be a first in modern history.
In the 1400 years Hajj has been around, it’s thankfully been heavily documented. To celebrate its beauty, we’ve rounded up some of our favourite photographs taken across the years.