Pilgrimage

A pilgrim carries an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe as he arrives at the Basilica of Guadalupe during the annual pilgrimage in honor of the Virgin of Guadalupe, patron saint of Mexican Catholics, Mexico City December 12, 2013. Pilgrims arrive on December 12 at the Basilica every year, the anniversary of what Catholics believe is the apparition of the Virgin Mary appearing before Juan Diego, an indigenous Mexican.

Henry Romero/Reuters

A pilgrim carries an image of the Virgin of Guadalupe to the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Mexico, during the annual pilgrimage in honour of the patron saint of Mexico’s Catholics

A Muslim pilgrim prays atop Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat during the peak of the annual haj pilgrimage, near the holy city of Mecca early morning October 14, 2013.  An estimated two million Muslims were in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, on Monday morning for the start of the annual Haj pilgrimage.

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

A Muslim pilgrim prays atop Mount Mercy on the plains of Arafat during the peak of the annual Haj pilgrimage, near the holy city of Mecca early on Monday morning. An estimated 2m Muslims were in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, for the start of the annual Haj pilgrimage.

A Muslim pilgrim prays at Mount Al-Noor ahead of the annual haj pilgrimage in Mecca October 10, 2013. Mount Al-Noor houses Ghar-E-Hira or Hira cave, where Prophet Mohammad is said to have spent a great deal of time in the cave meditating and it is believed that he had received his first revelation inside this cave.

Ibraheem Abu Mustafa/Reuters

A Muslim pilgrim prays at Mount al-Noor ahead of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca on Thursday

A Hindu holy man smokes as he waits to register for the annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine in Jammu, India, Friday, June 28, 2013. Thousands of pilgrims annually visit the remote Himalayan shrine of Amarnath at 3,888 meters (12,756 feet) above sea level to worship an icy stalagmite representing Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction

Channi Anand/AP

A Hindu holy man smokes as he waits to register for the annual pilgrimage to the Amarnath cave shrine in Jammu, India, on Friday. Thousands of pilgrims annually visit the remote Himalayan shrine at 3,888 meters above sea level to worship an icy stalagmite representing Shiva, the Hindu god of destruction. Read more

Spain El Rocio Pilgrimage

Miguel Angel Morenatti/AP

Rocio’s Virgin sculpture is carried through the streets during a procession on Monday in the village of El Rocio, Huelva, southern Spain. Nearly 1m people from all over the country gather for a festival in a small hamlet of El Rocio in the marshland of the Guadalquivir River delta, where the statue of the ‘Madonna of the Dew’ has been worshipped since 1280.

Pilgrims from the Sanlucar de Barrameda fellowship lead their horses ashore as they make their way to the shrine of El Rocio in the Donana National Park, southern Spain May 15, 2013. Every spring, hundreds of thousands of devotees converge at a shrine to pay homage to the Virgin del Rocio during an annual pilgrimage which combines religious fervour and festive colour. REUTERS/Marcelo del Pozo  (SPAIN - Tags: SOCIETY RELIGION ANIMALS)

Marcelo del Pozo/Reuters

Pilgrims from the Sanlucar de Barrameda fellowship lead their horses ashore as they make their way to the shrine of El Rocio in the Donana National Park, southern Spain, on Wednesday. Every spring, hundreds of thousands of devotees converge at a shrine to pay homage to the Virgin del Rocio during an annual pilgrimage which combines religious fervour and festive colour. Read more

Pilgrims of the Chipiona and the Sanlucar de Barrameda hermandades walk the Playa de Vajo de Guia to board a vessel to cross the Guadalquivir river during their journey to the small town of El Rocio on May 15, 2013 in Sanlucar De Barrameda, Spain. The Romeria del Rocio procession brings together roughly a million pilgrims each year making their way for as long as seven days from throughout Andalusia by foot, on horsebacks and horse drawn carriages, to the doors of the Hermitage of El Rocio. On Sunday night, after reciting the Holy Rosary at candlelight, and the passing of all the simpecados in front of the chapel, with the one from the brotherhood of Matriz de Almonte as the last one, el salto de la reja begins, the jumping of the fence surrounding the Hermitage after which the Virgin of El Rocio is carried out onto the sandy streets of the small town for the 'Blanca Paloma' procession. Then, the long camino home begins. Dating back from 1653, it was in 1758, when the Virgin of Las Rocinas became known as the Virgin of El Rocio, that the pilgrimage started to take place in the weekend of the Sunday of Pentecost, 50 days after Easter Sunday.

Jasper Juinen/Getty Images

Pilgrims of the Chipiona and the Sanlucar de Barrameda hermandades walk the Playa de Vajo de Guia to board a vessel to cross the Guadalquivir river during their journey to the small town of El Rocio in Sanlucar De Barrameda, Spain. The Romeria del Rocio procession brings together roughly a million pilgrims each year making their way for as long as seven days from throughout Andalusia by foot, on horseback and horse drawn carriages, to the doors of the Hermitage of El Rocio. Dating back from 1653, it was in 1758, when the Virgin of Las Rocinas became known as the Virgin of El Rocio, that the pilgrimage started to take place in the weekend of the Sunday of Pentecost, 50 days after Easter Sunday.

Members of the ancient Samaritan community attend the pilgrimage for the holy day of Passover at the religion's holiest site on the top of Mount Gerizim near the West Bank town of Nablus, early Tuesday, April 30, 2013. According to tradition, the Samaritans are descendants of Jews who were not deported when the Assyrians conquered Israel in the 8th century B.C. Of the small community of close to 700 people, half live in a village at Mount Gerizim, and the rest in the city of Holon near Tel Aviv. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

Ariel Schalit/AP

Members of the Samaritan community attend the pilgrimage for the holy day of Passover at the religion’s holiest site on the top of Mount Gerizim near the West Bank town of Nablus, early on Tuesday. According to tradition, the Samaritans are descendants of Jews who were not deported when the Assyrians conquered Israel in the 8th century BC. Read more