This weekend marks the time of the Hajj
, a core pillar of Islam in which great tides of humanity
venture to the ancient city of Mecca to honor God.
Predating Mohammed's birth by centuries, the pilgrimage comprises several days of rites
, from congregation like snow on Mount Arafat
and the ritual stoning of Shaitan
to the circling of the sacred Kaaba
cubical monolith Muslims pray toward daily
) and kissing the Black Stone
(colored by the absorption of myriad sins, and believed by some to be a fallen meteorite
While the city has modernized
to handle this largest of annual gatherings -- building highway-scale ramps, gaudy skyscrapers for the ultra-rich
, and tent cities the size of Seattle
-- it remains mysterious, as unbelievers are forbidden from entering its borders
Richard Francis Burton became famous for touring the city in disguise
to write a rare travelogue
, but contemporary viewers have a more immediate guide: Vice Magazine
journalist Suroosh Alvi, who smuggled a minicam into the city to record The Mecca Diaries [alt]
, a 14-minute documentary of his own Hajj journey.
Browse the manual
to see what goes into a Hajj trip, or watch the YouTube livestream
to see the Grand Mosque crowds in real time.
posted by Rhaomi
on Nov 4, 2011 -
An American Sadhu
- A seeking of holiness, resulting in disillusionment and abandonment. A very good read about one man's experience meeting a guru and his disciple, and ultimately coming full circle to "you get the guru you deserve".
posted by Kickstart70
on Jul 26, 2009 -
The Da Vinci Cup
Think of it as a gathering of tribes... There's a lot of ritual involved. It's probably the biggest single unifying event that our species can muster. Forget the Olympics. Not even close.
Poor poor China.
Keeping the romans entertained since BC.
posted by Unregistered User
on Jun 25, 2006 -
Jesus with Erection.
In its March edition, the Insurgent (link down)
, an "alternative" student paper on the Eugene, Ore., campus printed 12 hand-drawn cartoons of Jesus
as a response to rival paper the Commentator having published the controversial cartoons of Muhammad originally published in Europe that sparked Muslim riots worldwide. William Donohue, president of the Catholic League, called it
"one of the most obscene assaults on Christianity I have ever seen."
posted by three blind mice
on Apr 27, 2006 -
"If you love someone, you want to give something of yourself to them... Go big or go home you know?" Show that special sweetie of yours that you care with the magic of mutual self-mutilation.
Really, how often were you using that ring finger, anyways?
posted by Simon!
on Jul 8, 2005 -