Welcoming Islamic New Year, Kaaba Wearing New Kiswah

The process of replacing the Kaaba's Kiswah, done every 1st of Muharram. (Photo: SPA)

Makkah, MINA – The General Authority for the Affairs of Masjid al-Haram and Nabawi Mosque on Sunday decorated the sacred Kaaba with a new Kiswah (cover), in accordance with the tradition of welcoming the Islamic New Year.

The replacement was carried out by a team consisting of 159 craftsmen from the King Abdulaziz Complex for Kiswah of the Sacred Kaaba, Saudi Gazette reported.

The team, distributed along the sides and roof of the Kaaba according to their specialties, began by removing the old Kiswah and installing the new one, then affixing it to the corners and roof of the Kaaba.

The Kiswah, weighing 1,350 kilograms and standing 14 meters tall, consists of four separate sides and a door curtain. Each side was individually lifted to the top of the Kaaba in preparation for unfolding over the old cover.

The sides were secured at the top by tying them, with the other ends lowered after detaching the old Kiswah ropes.

The new sides were moved continuously up and down, followed by lowering the old Kiswah from below, allowing the new sides to remain in place.

This process was repeated for each side until the Kiswah was fully installed. Finally, the belts were aligned in a straight line on all four sides and sewn in place. Once all sides were tied, their corners were sewn from the top of the Kiswah downwards. Following this, the curtain was installed, requiring time and precision.

The Kiswah is made from around 1,000 kilograms of raw silk, dyed black, 120 kilograms of gold thread, and 100 kilograms of silver thread. It belts consist of 16 pieces, along with seven pieces below the waistband.

The King Abdulaziz Complex for the Kiswah of the Sacred Kaaba employs around 200 craftsmen and administrators, all trained, qualified, and specialized citizens.

The complex includes departments for dyeing, both automatic and hand weaving, printing, belt making, gilding, sewing, and assembling the Kiswah. It houses the world’s largest sewing machine in terms of length, measuring 16 meters, and operates with computerized systems.

Additionally, there are support departments such as laboratories, administrative services, quality control, public relations, worker health services, and workplace safety. (T/RE1/P2)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)