Chinese pilgrims head for Saudi Arabia
Updated: 2013-09-29 06:29
BEIJING - A total of 290 Chinese Muslims took off in a charter flight here for Saudi Arabia on Saturday evening for the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, according to the State Administration for Religious Affairs.
These passengers, coming from various regions including the provinces of Hubei, Jiangsu, Guangdong, Heilongjiang and the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, marked the last group of more than 11,800 Chinese Muslims who have all left for this year's pilgrimage, said a statement released Saturday by the administration.
The Mecca pilgrimage, also known as the Hajj, is a Muslim religious tradition that specifies that all able-bodied Muslims who can afford to travel to Saudi Arabia must visit Mecca at least once in their lifetime. According to the administration, professional medical experts were sent together with the pilgrim team to ensure the health of pilgrims.
The Chinese pilgrims are scheduled to return via 38 charter flights starting October 20.