Mrs. Richardson's World Geography
The annual Hajj pilgrimage is one of the world's largest gatherings, as hundreds of thousands of people participate in one of Islam's five pillars of faith. Muslims from all over the world will gather together for five days to pray as one community, celebrating their history and giving thanks for blessings. From the Masjid Al Haram complex to the hills of Mina, the rites include circling the Kaaba seven times and visiting sites of historical and religious importance.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast. No food or drink is allowed between dawn and sunset. Ramadan is a time of worship, spiritual reflection, renewal, and charity. At the end of Ramadan, 29 or 30 days later, the festival of fast breaking, Eid-ul-Fitr, is celebrated. Muslims get together with families and friends to celebrate, and exchange presents and cards.
Pilgrimage is an important feature of Hinduism. Pilgrimages are undertaken for many reasons such as an act of devotion; to perform ceremonial rites after the death of a parent; or during important festivals.
Pilgrimage has always been integral to Buddhism, attracting pilgrims to centers, shrines, and places associated with the Buddha or his disciples.
Sacred Places Scavenger Hunt
1. The holiest city in Islam, the place where Muhammad was born.
2. The second holiest city in Islam. The place where Muhammad lived for many years and is buried.
3. The Dome of the Rock was built 685-691 as a shrine for pilgrims on the place from where Muhammad ascended to heaven.
4. The birthplace of Siddhartha Gautama; a Buddhist pilgrimage site.
5. The place where Buddha is said to have obtained Enlightenment; the most important of the main four pilgrimage sites related to the life of Gautama Buddha.
6. The place where Buddha first taught the Dharma.
7. An important Buddhist pilgrimage site, where Gautama Buddha attained Parinirvana after his death.
8. Meaning, “Gateway to Lord Shiva,” this is a typical place to start a pilgrimage for a Hindu.
9. On the bank of the Ganges, a city of the god Shiva and an ancient center of Vedic scholarship; the holies of the seven sacred sites in Hinduism.
10. Meaning, “Lord of Rama,” it is the second most holy site in Hinduism. Its temple marks Rama’s journey to rescue his wife, Sita.