Nearly two million Muslim pilgrims from around the world ascended Mount Arafat, east of Makkah, on Sunday in the climax of the Hajj pilgrimage.

Pilgrims flocked to Arafat from early morning after spending a night of meditation and introspection in the tent city of Mina, which marked the first leg of their five-day Hajj.

Saudi authorities said that more than 1.8 million pilgrims from around the world are performing Hajj this year.

Since arriving in Makkah, the pilgrims chant “Labbaik Allahumma Labbaik (Here I am answering Your call, O God)”.

The pilgrims spend the day on the Arafat plateau in supplicating to God to forgive their sins. They then will descend by train back to Muzdalifah, halfway between Arafat and Mina, where they will take part in the symbolic stoning of the devil.

On Monday, all pilgrims head back to Mina, where they sacrifice animals to mark the beginning of the four-day `Eid Al-Adha festival.

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