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5 Reasons Why People Go on A Holy Pilgrimage

Pilgrimages are voyages that people conduct for religious reasons mostly, or at least, that appears to be the universal consensus. It is not surprising. Pilgrimages, after all, involve walking for many days to reach a holy site. A very famous example is the Hajj, a religious pilgrimage in Saudi Arabia, which entails walking to Mecca, the holiest site for Muslims. More than two million people make the pilgrimage every year, and each year, more and more people travel to Saudi Arabia for that purpose.

If pilgrimages involve walking and enduring the hardships that may come with it, why are they doing it? There are, after all, better ways to relax and enjoy a vacation. Or, one can just opt for a simpler relaxation at home, like entertaining themselves with games and sports with the bet365 android app.

Yet, more and more people entertain the notion of going on a religious pilgrimage instead. Below, we have presented several reasons why going on a pilgrimage will be good for you.

1.    Miracle seeking

What is the most common thing people are asking when a loved one falls terminally ill or has suffered a debilitating accident? They ask everyone to pray. There are moments in life when all of us feel helpless and powerless because of the circumstances we have found ourselves in. It is at that moment that we fall on prayer, on faith, and feel the need to seek a miracle. For that reason, many people go on religious pilgrimages, looking, praying and hoping that they will be granted a miracle. This notion is attractive because we do not think that prayer would be enough. As such, the hardships one might endure on the pilgrimage are welcome and become a personal sacrifice that we offer in exchange for the miracle. The miracle, that people seek, is often a cure for a painful or terminal illness, a recovery of a loved one after they had suffered a dangerous accident or a blessing of fertility. These miracles are ones we cannot bring about ourselves, so we seek the miracle during a pilgrimage.

2.    Penance for sins

Sins are interwoven in every religion and within every person. Going on a pilgrimage often means asking for forgiveness for one’s sins.

No one is perfect. Often, people feel such remorse for some of the things that they have done that they feel the need to repent for their sins in the most religious way possible. Religious pilgrimages involve physical discomfort, long hours of walking, often in sunlight and heat, which makes people feel that the grueling path will grant them forgiveness for their sins.

Individuals who go on pilgrimages with the intent of receiving forgiveness for their sins hope and pray that their sacrifice will be seen, noticed, acknowledged and approved. They go on long journeys, endure hardships and discard all material luxuries and comforts with the intent to show that they are really penitent and ready to do anything to be granted forgiveness for their sins.

3.    Religious fulfillment

We mentioned above that over two million people visit Saudi Arabia on a yearly basis to go on the Hajj, the religious pilgrimage to Mecca. Here is the thing – one of the most popular facts about Islam is that Muslims, no matter where they are in the world, should do the Hajj if they can afford it at least once in their lifetimes. It brings us to the third reason why people embark on religious pilgrimages – often, embarking on such a journey brings for a religious and spiritual fulfillment that will make a person feel closer to Allah, or God, for the rest of his or her lifetime. Despite that, some people opt to go on a pilgrimage more than once. The experience is so fulfilling, and it brings them such peace to their souls, that they wish to repeat the journey as often as they can.

In some religions, people can undergo different types of pilgrimages that involve traveling to different places and doing different things. Because of that, often, religious people go on pilgrimages every year.

4.    Reflection and rest from a busy society

Many people choose to go on pilgrimages to escape the busyness of the modern world. It gives them an opportunity to connect with their own selves. Rather than achieve a higher spiritual existence, they look for the kind of peace and quiet that comes only when you are exhausted by doing something that feels right.

One would think that people who wish peace and quiet would escape to a remote location, or go on a vacation to relax, but the reality is quite different. When you go on a vacation where you have the opportunity to relax and do nothing all day, you still cannot escape your own mind. Troubles, problems, and other insecurities still find ways to attack your psyche. Because of that, many people embark on journeys where they will get to both reflect and escape. That way, their attention is focused on the difficulties of their path, not on the problems and insecurities that plague them. As such, the peace that people gain from going on pilgrimages can last for a long time after they have completed their journey.

5.    Attracting good fortune

When we learn that people go on religious pilgrimages to attract good fortune, we often smile indulgently and do not think and reflect on the matter. However, that does not mean that it is difficult to understand. In fact, there is almost something whimsical and childlike about looking for good fortune, but it is, after all, completely normal and understandable. Aiming to attract good fortune is similar to seeking a miracle through doing a pilgrimage, with the difference that the seeker does not look for a miraculous solution to a problem or cure for an illness. No, the seeker merely hopes that walking the walk and touching a relic, or visiting a holy place, will bring him or her good fortune for that year, or for years to come.