1.7m pilgrims mark the Hajj in Mecca
More than 1.7m pilgrims are descending on Mecca in Saudi Arabia to mark the start of the Hajj pilgrimage.
Many begin by circling the cube-shaped Kaaba — Islam’s holiest site — and performing a series of rites that trace the footsteps of the Prophet Mohammed.
Muslims believe the rites also trace the footsteps of the prophets Ibrahim and Ismail — Abraham and Ishmael in the Bible. The Kaaba represents the metaphorical house of God and oneness of God in Islam.