A pilgrimage is a journey that people of all genders, races, ages, and faiths across the world have embarked on throughout history and still till this day.
These journeys are unique to each faith that practice them, this is because it is usually a journey to a sacred location or place. It is a form of devotional practice for many religions, a way to improve and strengthen their faith.
I will be telling you about three religions that engage in pilgrimages as a form of worship.
The 3 Religions that are Using Pilgrimage Practice:
In the religion of Islam, the annual pilgrimage known as Hajj is extremely important and sacred within their belief.
There is around 1.9 billion Muslims in the world and the number is continuously growing, and many of them are participating in the pilgrimage every year.
Hajj is the fifth pillar of the five pillars of Islam, these are core practices and beliefs that every Muslim lives by.
The pilgrimage of Hajj takes place within the holy city of Mecca which is located within Saudi Arabia.
Hajj commences every Islamic lunar year in the month of Dhul Hijjah which is the last month of the year, improving the faith of Muslims for the new coming year.
Mecca is the significant location of this pilgrimage as it is where the Holy Kaaba is located, a house of worship constructed by Prophet Abraham.
The actual pilgrimage is a form of worship but through the footsteps of the Prophet Abraham. Muslims enact events that had occurred in the life of Abraham as a form of worship to God.
Hajj is a journey that all Muslims aim to do, however, due to personal circumstances many are unable to.
The pilgrimage is an opportunity for Muslims to humble themselves before God and increase their devotion and belief in him.
In Hinduism, the followers believe the pilgrimages are important and should be carried out if able to do so.
In Hinduism there are many sacred places that hold important value within the religion, this is because they are usually associated with a variety of deities.
Hindus believe that embarking on a pilgrimage helps them to grow closer and connect with Brahman.
The holiest and most sacred city within the religion of Hinduism is Varanasi.
Not only is it holy but it is impressively old, Hindus show their utmost respect to this location.
Hindus often come here to show their belief and respect to the deity Shiva, along with bathing within the River Ganges to wash away their sins.
The biggest and most important pilgrimage in Hinduism is known as Kumbh Mela, it is known to be the largest gathering of people within the globe.
Millions of Hindus gather together to bathe within the River Ganges.
This pilgrimage commences every twelve years, lasting around 55 days, allowing Hindus to pray and increase their devotion.
Pilgrimage is not a not a compulsory practice for Christians, however many Christians still undertake religious pilgrimages.
Christians like many other believers of different faiths who embark on pilgrimages, see the journey as an act of worship and to deepen their connection to God.
There are four main locations where Christian pilgrimages often take place, but many more, around seven of them are mentioned in the Bible regarding the life of Jesus Christ.
The four main and well known ones are Lona, Rome, Walsingham and Jerusalem.
Each and every pilgrimage is unique to a variety of different Christians, the ones mentioned are increasingly important to Catholic Christians.
During these pilgrimages, the pilgrims perform acts of worship to honor the holy location and God. There are many other locations that many Christians understand and sacred and carry out pilgrimages to them.
Thank you for reading this article, I hope you have learnt something new about what pilgrimages are and their significance in certain religions.