New Delhi: In good times and in bad times, people gather to celebrate, observe, mourn and also to witness events, things, lives which have the power to left an indelible mark on humanity.
One such event just happened this week when Chicago Cubs ended a 108-year long wait for a World Series title by beating the Cleveland Indians 8-7 in 10 innings on Wednesday in a thrilling Game Seven baseball classic.
That's how they shed themselves of the infamous “Curse of the Billy Goat”, and heralding a huge congregation of humanity in Chicago, which even eclipsed some of the most famous gatherings like the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, Rod Stewart's Rio de Janeiro concert.
An estimated 5 million peopled showed up to the Chicago Cubs Parade and Rally on Friday, making it one of the largest single day peacetime gatherings in human history, on par with Democracy and Martyrs' Rally in Istanbul early this year.
Fans packed on to the streets of Chicago as the team traveled from Wrigley Field to Grant Park in open top buses to celebrate their 2016 World Series win. It was their first championship win since 1908.
But the mother of all congregation is the sacred Kumbh Mela in India. The 2013 Maha Kumbh Mela in Allahabad attracted more than 120 million people, with a single day count of over 30 million on February 10.
Here are the top-ten largest human gatherings in history:
1. 30 million: Maha Kumbh Mela (India) on 10 February 2013
2. 26 million: Arba'een festival (Iraq) on December 5, 2015
3. 15 million: Funeral of C.N. Annadurai (India) on February 3, 1969
4. 12 million: Martyrdom anniversary Imam Musa Al-Kadhim (Iraq) on May 13, 2015
5. 10.2 million: Funeral of Ayatollah Khomeini (Iran) on June 5, 1989
6. 7 million: Papal gathering (Philippines) on January 18, 2015
7. 5 million: World Youth Day (Philippines) on January 15, 1995
8. 5 million: Democracy and Martyrs' Rally (Turkey), August 7, 2016
9. 5 million: Chicago Cubs World Series celebration - 5 million
10. 5 million: Funeral of Gamal Abdel Nasser (Egypt) on October 1, 1970