Kiswa (Ghilaf-e-Kaaba) changing ceremony held in Makkah

The annual ritual of changing Kiswa (Ghilaf-e-Kaaba) held in the early Wednesday evening at Masjid al-Haram in Saudi Arabia, where mask-clad pilgrims have gathered to perform the Hajj.

The Kaa’ba dons it’s new Kiswa under the rain showers and lighting.

On behalf of King Salman, Makkah Gov. Prince Khalid Al-Faisal handed over the new covering cloth of the Kaaba, known as Kiswa on Wednesday to the senior caretaker of the Kaaba, Saleh bin Zain Al-Abidin Al-Shaibi.

Changes through ages

The new Ghilaf will be draped on the Holy Kaaba on 9th Zilhaj (i.e) the Day of Arafat every year.

The Kiswa have seen regular changes through the ages. It was covered once in red, once in white, once in green and at present in black brocade.

The 14 m tall garment has been prepared from pure silk fiber, embellished by gold and silver-plated thread and motifs illustrating verses from the Holy Quran.

An approximate — million riyals have been spent on the preparation of the Ghilaf-e-Kaaba by dozens of weaving experts at a special factory exclusively devoted to the manufacture of the Kiswa.

Hajj amid COVID-19

Each year, the streets of Makkah usually draws more than two million pilgrims during the annual Hajj 2020.

Rather than sea of people from different walks of life, this year, a tiny fraction of pilgrims from across the globe participated in the ritual at the holiest site in Islam as the world grapples with the coronavirus pandemic.

Only 10,000 pilgrims are expected, as opposed to about 2 million will be able to perform so as to prevent the deadly outbreak during the five-day pilgrimage.