The first day of this year’s Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca will be Friday, August 9.

For Muslims, the Hajj re-enacts the actions of the Prophet Muhammad in his “farewell pilgrimage” in 632 AD. It is a central pillar of the Islamic faith meant to cleanse followers of sin and bring them closer to God.

The pilgrimage is obligatory once in a lifetime for all Muslims with the means to afford it.

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The Hajj ends with the three-day Eid al-Adha celebration.

We take a look at the step-by-step process of the six-day journey, which almost two million Muslims will take part in.

Below, we break down the nations where most pilgrims are journeying from.