Thursday, April 19, 2012

What religious pilgrimage in the world attracts the most visitors?

I would have answered that the hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, attracts the most pilgrims.

But I would have been wrong.

According to an article in the New York Times on Tuesday, "Friendship, Competition, Pathogens: Gauging an Outbreak at the Olympics", the hajj gets about three million pilgrims per year, but

India’s festival of Kumbh Mela, held every six years, is much larger. As many as 70 million Hindus attended in 2007.

An interesting example of the availability bias. I've certainly heard a lot more about the hajj than about Kumbh Mela.

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