The pilgrimage used to take place once a year in the month of February to mark the anniversary of Sheikh Hussein death, but now a second pilgrimage loosely linked with Maulid (a pan-Islamic festival them marks the birth of the Prophet mohammed) occurs later in the year.

The rituals last for approx two weeks when they are over the vast crowds of people who have gathered-rarely less than fifty thousand – disperse across the country side. Some, for whom this has been a once –in-a –life time experience, return to their homes. Others, however-those who know no other existence than the open road- make their way south through the bale foothills to another shrine devoted to another Muslim saint.

Pilgrimages come on foot, on horse back and by mule from distances of up to 600miles to pay homage to Sheikh Hussein, the 13th century mystic prophet who lies buried in the town of the same name.

This pilgrimage takes place twice a year, once in February- March to celebrate the anniversary of the death of Sheikh Hussein and once in August- September to celebrate the birth of the prophet Mohammed on each occasion, approximately fifty thousand people come from all parts of the horn of Africa and stay for about 2 weeks.

The tomb of Shekh Hussien is covered with colorful cloths to mark the occasion of a celebration. Pilgrims enter the tomb daily to benefit from the healing power of this ancient miracle worked.

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