I would say the worst gathering of people I could imagine in one place is during Mardi Gras. I happened to attend Tulane University, so I was able to go to Mardi Gras for four years in a row. And when I say it used to take me at least 10 minutes just to walk 10 feet, I’m not even remotely joking. And not only that, 99% of the people were drunk which made it pretty brutal (eh, not too brutal because I was drunk too). But as far as large gatherings go, Mardi Gras is just a tiny spec on the map. When you’re talking crowds of 3 million, then you’re really getting into some serious territory. Here’s a look at 10 of the biggest crowds in history.
Ardh Kumbh Mela – 70 Million
Over 45 days beginning in January 2007, more than 70 million Hindu pilgrims from around the world gathered at Allahabad (also known as Hindu holy city of Prayaga in India for the Ardh Kumbh Mela or the partial Kumbha Mela, the world’s largest religious festival and also the world’s largest gathering. More than 5 million participated on January 15, the most auspicious day of the festival of Makar Sankranti
Simhastha Kumbh Mela – 30 Million
On April 5th 2004, Around 30 million Hindu pilgrims from all over the world traveled to Hindu holy city of Ujjain in India for the Simhastha Kumbh Mela.
Funeral of C. N. Annadurai – 15 Million
In 1969 the funeral of C. N. Annadurai, a former Chief Minister of the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, was attended by an estimated crowd of 15 million people.
Tiananmen Square – 11Million
On August 18, 1966, there was a mass gathering of Red Guards at Tiananmen Square in Beijing, China. The Gathering was estimated to be about 1 million people. From August to the end of November there were an additional seven such rallies, totaling 11 million people
Funeral of Ayatollah Khomenini – 11Million
Eleven million Iranians gathered at the funeral of Ayatollah Khomeini in Tehran on June 3, 1989.
Imam Hussein Shrine – 9 Million
In 2008, 9 million Shia pilgrims visited the shrine of Imam Hussein in Karbala, Iraq, in the anniversary of Arba’een. 80 thousand of which were non-Iraqi ; mostly Iranians
Sabarimala Shrine – 5 Million
On 14 January 2007, 5 million Hindu pilgrims paid homage at Sabarimala shrine in Kerala, India.
Funeral of Pope John Paul II
Two to four million people are reported to have attended the funeral of Pope John Paul II in Rome on 7 April 2005
Gay Pride Paradein Brazil
More than 3 million people gathered in the gay pride celebration of 2007 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Boston Red Sox World Series
More than 3 million people attended a parade celebrating the Boston Red Sox’s 2004 world series victory on October 30, 2004.
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