What is the biggest gathering of people you have even been part of? Maybe a few thousand at a sports event of a music concert? Well, you won’t believe how many people were present at the following enormous gatherings.
2 Million for Sports Parades
Winning the Stanley Cup is a bit of a big deal, isn’t it? That would explain why 2 of the biggest gatherings of people on the planet took place to celebrate victories in this tournament. In 2013 close to 2 million people gathered in Chicago to see the Chicago Blackhawks’ parade and rally. If we then look back to 1974 close to the same number saw the Philadelphia Flyers parade after the same cup. Apparently the Philadelphia event had more people at it but I have no idea who was counting heads.
Pope John Paul II
In moments of gentle revelry I sometimes wonder which human being has seen most faces during their lifetime. Pope John Paul II has got to be a contender, hasn’t he? The Polish Pope features several times on the list of the largest gatherings in history. For example, in 1979 a third of the population of Ireland went to Phoenix Park in Dublin to see him. That was about 1.25 million people and an even bigger crowd of 2.5 million watched him give a mass in Blonia Park in Krakow, Poland. Meanwhile, in the Philippines about 5 million people went a World Youth Day rally in 1995 to see him. Even after his death the Pope was the reason for giant crowds gathering, with up to 4 million people going to see his funeral in Rome.
Funeral of C N Annadurai
An incredible total of around 15 million people gathered together once in Tamil Nadu in India. This was in 1969 and the reason was the funeral of Indian Politian C N Annadurai. It was the biggest crowd ever to attend a funeral at that time and I guess is still is.
The Battle of Kursk
In terms of wartime gatherings, it is tough to know which battle was the biggest of all. However, the massive Battle of Kursk is a definite contender. Massive German and Russian armies met here in 1943. This crucial WWII battle saw almost 3 million soldiers come together on the Eastern Front.
The number of people who travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the annual Hajj pilgrimage is staggering. The number obviously varies each year but usually it is around the 3 million mark.
Husayn ibn Ali
Have you ever been to the shrine of Husayn ibn Ali in Karbala, Iraq? A lot of people go there, you know. The figures for the 2013 visitors suggest that around 20 million went there, with other year’s gatherings not far behind.
You might never have heard of Kumbh Mela but it is probably the biggest gathering of humans in history. Every year around 30 million people arrive to the chosen location in India to bathe in a sacred river. The location changes from year to year but the numbers are always mind boggling, with some estimates saying that as many as 70 million attended in some years. Can you imagine being in that crowd of people?