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The Hajj pilgrimage draws millions of Muslims from around the world every year to Mecca, the birthplace of the Prophet Muhammad, Islam's holiest place. Saudi Arabia expects to host perhaps three million people in a ritual journey that every able-bodied Muslim who can afford it must make at least once in their lifetime. It is the largest annual gathering of humanity anywhere. Timed to the Muslim lunar calendar, the Hajj is followed by the celebrations of the three-day festival of Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, which symbolizes Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. Collected here are photographs of the Hajj in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, as well as images of preparations for the Hajj and Eid al-Adha in many other parts of the Muslim world. -- Lane Turner (42 photos total)
A Muslim pilgrim prays as visits the Hiraa cave at the top of Noor Mountain on the outskirts of Mecca, Saudi Arabia on November 2, 2011. According to tradition, Islam's Prophet Mohammed received his first message to preach Islam while he was praying in the cave. (Hassan Ammar/AP)

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Dwi Oblo / Reuters

Men work on a clay statue at Taman Budaya Yogyakarta in Yogyakarta Thursday, July 14.

Dwi Oblo / Reuters

Onlookers watch men working on a clay statue at Taman Budaya Yogyakarta in Yogyakarta on Thursday.

According to Reuters, Indonesian artist Eddi Prabandono and his 15 workers made a 4-meter-by-4-meter statue modelled after the head of Prabandono's daughter Luz, now 5 years old, as part of a series of art works called the "Luz Series". The statue will be displayed at Jog Art, an annual art exhibition held in Yogyakarta that is attended by more than 150 artists.

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