I've seen that big sporting events like Olympics etc are credited with having the largest viewership, but in terms of people traveling, which event has the most people who travel in order to participate in the event, and what is the number of travelers?

Is it still one of those sporting competitions? Or is it something like an election or a religious holiday?

  • Arba'een is claimed by Wikipedia to be the largest. Jan 4 '20 at 2:03
  • The Hajj must be up there.
    – user105640
    Jan 4 '20 at 2:18
  • Do things like Christmas or New Years count? Those holidays tend to have huge effects on travel across the globe.
    – Moo
    Jan 4 '20 at 2:42
  • 1
    Several billion people travel each day in order to partake in the event known as "Work". Does that count?
    – Doc
    Jan 4 '20 at 3:18

Most likely this would be Kumbh Mela, which in 2013 attracted (depending on which figures you believe) up to 120 million people, including 30 million on a single day.

The full gathering occurs every 12 years, with a smaller (at least in theory) gathering after 6 years.


The Chinese New Year, around 1.4 billion people go back to their home towns to celebrate.

It’s a single event but they do not travel to the same destination so it depends how you define event, but if you look at it from an event point of view and ignore that its not a single destination I doubt anything else comes even remotely close

  • 2
    Do you have a source for 1.4 billion people? That's approximately the entire population of China, and even if we add in observances of the same date in other countries, surely someone has to stay home to receive the travelers, lest people come back to their home towns to find all the residents have themselves traveled elsewhere? Jan 4 '20 at 3:33
  • 2
    I'm not sure how the numbers in that article can get to "1.4 billion people go back to their home towns." It says the total distance everyone travels combined is 745 million miles, which would be just 0.5 miles/person if everyone traveled. This article says hundreds of millions of people take 3 billion trips, this one says 385M. Jan 4 '20 at 3:49
  • @ZachLipton whatever it is, its massive and even at the lowest estimates I doubt much else comes close Jan 4 '20 at 3:52
  • I agree that I think it is the largest, assuming the OP considers the ~40 day period of general travel to be a single event, which it reasonably is. Jan 4 '20 at 3:55

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