By ARAB NEWS
MAKKAH: The silken kiswa cloth that covers the entire Holy Kaaba was replaced on Saturday in line with a centuries old annual custom.
The draping of the Kaaba on the ninth day of the Hijri month of Dul Al-Hijjah was carried out in the presence of representatives of the General Presidency of the Affairs of the Grand Mosque and Prophet’s Mosque and the keepers of the Kaaba.
The officials lowered the old cover and replaced it with the new one, which was handed over to the keepers of the Kaaba on Oct. 28.
The changing of the kiswa is done in a particular way, with the new kiswa hung over the old one from the top before the latter is removed from underneath.
After wrapping it around the Kaaba, the new cloth is fixed to the ground with metal rings, Saudi Press Agency reported.
The kiswa is manufactured at a factory in Umm Al-Joudah in the suburbs of Makkah.
Every year the old kiswa is removed, cut into small pieces and donated to individuals, visiting foreign dignitaries and organizations. The SR20 million kiswa, which is made of 670 kilograms of pure silk and 150 kilograms of gold and silver threads, is considered one of the most exquisite works of Islamic art.
Verses of the Holy Qur’an and sacred words are embroidered using gold and silver threads at different places on the kiswa.
It is 658 square meters in size and consists of 47 pieces, each 14 meters long and 95 cm wide.