List of largest peaceful gatherings in history
This is a list of the largest historic peaceful gatherings of people in one place for a single event. For brevity, only gatherings in excess of 1 million are recorded.
Over 20 Million
- An estimated 30 million people gathered to bathe on Mauni amavasya on 10 February 2013 during Kumbh Mela in Allahabad, India.
Over 10 Million
- An estimated 20 million people visited the shrine of Husayn ibn Ali in Karbala, Iraq during Arba'een in December 2013.
- An estimated 15 to 18 million people visited the shrine of Husayn ibn Ali in Karbala, Iraq during Arba'een in January 2013.
- An estimated 15 to 18 million people visited the shrine of Husayn ibn Ali in Karbala, Iraq during Arba'een in 2012.
- An estimated 15 million people visited the shrine of Husayn ibn Ali in Karbala, Iraq during Arba'een in 2011.
- An estimated 10 to 14 million people visited the shrine of Husayn ibn Ali in Karbala, Iraq during Arba'een in 2010.
- An estimated 10 to 14 million people visited the shrine of Husayn ibn Ali in Karbala, Iraq during Arba'een in 2009.
- An estimated 15 million people attended the funeral of C. N. Annadurai in Tamil Nadu, India in 1969.
- An estimated 11 million people gathered for the funeral of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran in 1989.*
Over five million
- Over 5 million people attended a rally for World Youth Day 1995 in Manila, Philippines, to see Pope John Paul II.
Two to five million
- An estimated 5 million people attended the funeral of Egyptian President Gamel Abdel Nasser on 1 October 1970 in Cairo, Egypt.
- An estimated 5 million people gathered in Sabarimala, India on 14 January 2007.
- An estimated 4.2 million people attended a concert given by Rod Stewart in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on 1996-12-31.
- An estimated 4 million people attended the funeral of Umm Kulthum in Cairo, Egypt on 6 February 1975.
- An estimated 3.16 million people made the annual Hajj to Mecca, Saudi Arabia in 2012 (1.4 million from Saudi and 1.75 Foreigners)
- An estimated 2 million people gathered at Raja Bazaar, Rawalpindi on 24 December 2013 after threats from Takfiri groups due to Ashura riots Shia Muslims gathered to commemorate Chehlum of Imam Hussain. Takfiris despite all their threats had to retreat.
- The Bengali gathering, called Bishwa Ijtema (World Gathering) of Tablighi Jamaat, converges followers from around the world in Tongi near Dhaka, Bangladesh and with an attendance exceeding 3 million people.
- An estimated 3 million people welcomed Benazir Bhutto on her return from exile in 1986 in Lahore. The procession covered the 12 kilometer distance from the Lahore airport to Minar e Pakistan in over ten hours. The crowd accumulated at gardens of the landmark accommodated over 1.5 million people with queues of cars and trucks reaching outside the then city limits miles away.
- An estimated 3 million people attended the closing Mass of World Youth Day 2013 on Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Over 2 million people also gather there yearly on the night of December 31, making of it the world's largest New Year's Eve party.
- An estimated 3 million people gathered in London, United Kingdom on 2 June 1953 to celebrate the Coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.
- An estimated 3 million people attended a parade in Boston, United States, celebrating the Boston Red Sox's 2004 World Series victory on 30 October 2004. The victory ended an 86-year drought of World Series championships and ended the era of the famous Curse of the Bambino for the Red Sox.
- An estimated 3 million people attended the annual feast of the Black Nazarene in Manila, Philippines, in January 2008.
- An estimated 2 to 4 million people are reported to have attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II in Rome, Italy on 7 April 2005.
- An estimated 2.8 million people made the annual Hajj to Mecca, Saudi Arabia (excluding unregistered pilgrims which were over 0.75 million, the number of pilgrims would then be over 3.5 million) in November 2010.
- An estimated 2.5 million people participated in Art of Living Silver Jubilee Celebration at Bangalore, India.
- An estimated 2.5 million people participated in a beatification mass held by Pope John Paul II in Błonia Park, Kraków, Poland.
- An estimated 2.5 million people participated in the São Paulo Gay Pride Parade that took place in June 2006 in São Paulo, Brazil.
- An estimate of over 2 million people attended a parade and rally in Chicago, Illinois, United States for the 2013 Stanley Cup Champion Chicago Blackhawks.
- An estimated 2 million people gathered in Philadelphia, USA for the Stanley Cup parade for the 1974 Stanley Cup Champions, the Philadelphia Flyers.
- An estimated 2 million people attended the state funeral of the assassinated President of Bangladesh Ziaur Rahman on June 2, 1981.
- An estimated 2 million people are reported to have gathered in Madrid, Spain for a parade celebrating the success of the Spain national football team in the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
- An estimated 2 million Hindu women gathered at the Attukal Temple in Kerala, India on 4 March 2007, making it the largest gathering of women in history, overtaking the record set by the same festival on February 23, 1997.
- On 25 May 2010, an estimated 2 million people gathered at the 9 de Julio avenue in Buenos Aires, Argentina, to attend several concerts and street art parades celebrating the Bicentennial of the May Revolution.
- The funeral of Bal Thackeray: 2 million, and a 7 km long cortege.
One to two million
- Security officials estimated that 1.8 million people attended the inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington, D.C. on 20 January 2009. Other estimates vary significantly, ranging as low as 750,000 people.
- An estimated 1.8 million people claimed Catalan independence in Barcelona, 11 September 2014, drawing a 11 km. "V" shaped Catalan flag with their red & yellow T-shirt.
- An estimated 1.75 million people attended a parade in Chicago, Illinois, United States for the 2005 World Series champion Chicago White Sox.
- An estimated 1.6 million people (30 percent of Lebanon's 4 million population) gathered in Beirut, Lebanon on 14 March 2005 to demand an end to the Syrian military presence in Lebanon. This event is known as the Cedar Revolution.
- The second largest Tabligh Jamaat gathering takes place in Raiwind, Pakistan which is attended by approximately 1.5 million people. Since 2011 Pakistan divided the Ijtema into two parts and total 1 million People attend the Ijtema.
- An estimated 1.5 million people were at 2013's San Francisco Pride, in the wake of the Supreme Court decisions on DOMA and Proposition 8.
- An estimated 1.5 million people attended the Live 8 concert in Philadelphia, PA 2 July 2005.
- An estimated 1.5 million people claimed the independence of Catalonia in Barcelona, 11 September 2012. More info: 2012 Catalan independence demonstration.
- An estimated 1.25 million people attended a Papal mass given by Pope John Paul II in the Phoenix Park, Dublin, Ireland on 29 September 1979. The estimated attendance was about one third of the population of Ireland gathered in one expansive public area.
- An estimated crowd of 750 thousand to 1.5 million people gathered in Central Park in New York City on 22 April 1990 to celebrate Earth Day.
- An estimated 1.2 million people attended the Yoido rally of Sun Myung Moon in Yoido, South Korea in 1975
- An estimated more than 1 million attended the funeral of Italian Communist Party leader Enrico Berlinguer on 13 June 1984 in Rome
- An estimated 1 million gathered in London, England for the wedding of Prince William and Catherine Middleton on 29 April 2011.
- An estimated 1 million people gathered in The Mall outside Buckingham Palace in London for the Golden Jubilee celebrations of Queen Elizabeth II on 4 June 2002.
- An estimated 1 million people participated in what is considered the largest procession in the history of New Delhi, India on 8 October 1970 in commemoration of Hans Ji Maharaj, led by his son Guru Maharaj Ji (now Prem Rawat).
- An estimated crowd of over 1 million revelers attended Love Parade in Essen, Germany on 25 August 2007.
- An estimated crowd of over 1 million Colombians gathered in Bogotá, Colombia on 4 February 2008 to protest against FARC.
- On 1 March 1990, over 1 million protesters gathered at the headquarters of the UN Military Observer Group in Srinagar, Jammu & Kashmir to present a memorandum addressed to the Secretary-General of the United Nations demanding that Kashmir be given the right of self determination.
- An estimated one million Catholics gathered for the mass at Saint Peter's Square, to celebrate John Paul II's beatification on 1 May 2011
- An estimated 1.4 million attended World Youth Day 2011 (16–21 August) in Madrid
- Millions of Iranians participated in nationwide demonstrations and marches through Tehran and many other key cities across Iran on 11 February 2014, celebrating the 35th anniversary of the Iranian Revolution.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (September 2012)|
The methods of determining how many people are at an event vary in accuracy. Without knowing the method used and its error potential, estimates can be very inaccurate. Practically, for a gathering in an open space,five adults with normal body growth can stand per square metre with minimum movability. For more than four adults per square metre with the crowd moving without previously practised parade-discipline,there is always an ample chance of a stampede. An estimate made by an untrained observer of a large crowd is potentially the least accurate, as there is no methodological basis for the estimate, and it amounts to no more than a guess. Better is an estimate made by a trained observer. These are usually based on scientific principles and experience. Trained observers usually work for governmental or academic organizations.
Scientific analysis of photographs, video images, or both is usually considered to be even better. Based on the quality of the image, it is possible to do a physical head count or to estimate attendance based on the density of people within similar areas. This permits the estimation of people over large areas or where parts of the image are obscured. An extensive discussion of how images were used to estimate the number of attendees at the Million Man March can be found at the Center for Remote Sensing at Boston University's website.
The most accurate number is achieved when an actual count of ticket stubs, gate counts, or both is used. This system does have limitations as well. If the number is based on the number of tickets distributed or sold, people who get tickets and do not attend will affect the results. Similarly, people who get into the event without an actual ticket may not be counted. If the count is based on the number of stubs collected, those who get in without tickets will again not be counted, and there is no way to account for people leaving early, or leaving and re-entering using a second ticket.
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