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List of largest peaceful gatherings in history: Wikis


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This is a partial or incomplete list of the largest historic peaceful gatherings of people in one place for a single event. For brevity, gatherings in excess of 1 million are recorded.


Over ten million

Five to ten million

Two to five million

One to two million

  • On 20 January 2009 an estimated 1.8 million people attended the inauguration of Barack Obama in Washington, D.C., USA.[41]
  • On February 23, 1997, 1.5 million Hindu women gathered at the Attukal Temple in Kerala, India for what was at that time, the largest gathering of women in history,[42] and earned the temple a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records (certificate pictured here). They brought cooking pots with which they prepared food as an offering to a goddess.
  • On 29 September 1979 an estimated 1.25 million people attended the a Papal mass in the Phoenix park Dublin, Ireland. This was over one third of the population of Ireland gathered in one field.
  • On August 25, 2007, over 1 million revellers attended Love Parade in Essen, Germany.[43]
  • On 22 April 1990, 750 thousand to 1.5 million people gathered in Central Park in New York City, USA to celebrate Earth Day.[44][45]
  • On 8 October 1970 an estimated 1 million people participated in what is considered the largest procession in the history of New Delhi, India, in commemoration of Hans Ji Maharaj, lead by his son Guru Maharaj Ji (now Prem Rawat), who was 12 years old at the time.[46][47]
  • On March 14, 2005, 1.2 million people (30 percent of Lebanon's 4 million population) gathered in Beirut, Lebanon to demand an end to the Syrian military presence in Lebanon. This event is known as the Cedar Revolution.[48]
  • On 4 February 2008, 1 million Colombians gathered in Bogotá, Colombia to protest against FARC.[49]


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.

  • An estimate made by an untrained observer of a large crowd is potentially the least accurate. Often these estimates are a number pulled out of the air by the observer.
  • 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 and/or video images 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.[50]
  • The most accurate number is achieved when an actual count of ticket stubs and/or gate counts is used. Even this system has limitations. 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.

See also


  1. ^ Millions of Hindus Wash Away Their Sins Washington Post, January 15, 2007.
  2. ^ Millions bathe at Hindu festival BBC News, January 3, 2007.
  3. ^ Millions bathe at Hindu festival BBC News, January 3, 2007.
  4. ^ Kumbh Mela pictured from space - probably the largest human gathering in history BBC News, January 26, 2001.
  5. ^ Kumbh Mela: the largest pilgrimage - Pictures: Kumbh Mela by Karoki Lewis The Times, March 22, 2008.
  6. ^ Kumbh Mela - 25 January 2001 - New Scientist
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ Guinness Book Records, 1986 UK edition, Religions, accidents and disasters, p.219. Largest funeral : The funeral of the charismatic CN Annadurai (died 3 February 1969), Madras chief minister, was, according to a police estimate, attended by 15 million people.
  10. ^
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  21. ^ "Umm Kulthum (1898-1975)". Your gateway to Egypt. Egypt State Information Service. Archived from the original on 2009-11-24. 
  22. ^ "‘Umm Kulthum’ Celebrates Egypt’s ‘Voice’", Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times, October 17, 1997
  23. ^ Guinness Book of World Records - Largest Papal Crowd
  24. ^
  25. ^
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  27. ^ 7 Miles, 86 Years Worth of Partying], Los Angeles Times, Elizabeth Mehren, 2004-10-31
  28. ^ Abs-Cbn Interactive, Crowd swells to 80,000 n Quiapo - police
  29. ^ Gma News, QTV: Thousands flock to Quiapo for Black Nazarene feast - 01/09/2008
  30. ^, 2.6M devotees at Nazarene feast; 2 die, 50 injured
  31. ^ Pope John Paul II buried in Vatican crypt. Millions around the world watch funeral, CNN, 2005-04-08
  32. ^ City of Rome celebrates 'miracle', BBC News, Stephanie Holmes, 2005-04-09
  33. ^ 2 m workers march through Rome in anti-terror protest
  34. ^ Italian unions call first general strike for 20 years
  35. ^ Dal corteo il servizio d'ordine annuncia: "Siamo tre milioni" (Italian)
  36. ^ Avvenire, Tuesday August 22, 2000, pag. 3.
  37. ^ Royal Embassy of Saudi Arabia - Washington, D.C.
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  41. ^ [1]
  42. ^ India Today, March 19, 2007. "Holy Cooking"
  43. ^ "Love Parade Debuts in Germany's Ruhr". The Associated Press. August 25, 2007. Retrieved 2008-04-24. 
  44. ^ NY Times, April 23, 1990. "EARTH DAY 1990; Music and, Oh Yes, Earth Day in Park" [2]
  45. ^ NY Times, April 29, 1990. " Central Park, Bent but Not Broken, Comes Through Earth Day" [3]
  46. ^ Navbharat Times, 10 November 1970 (from Hindi original) "A three-day event in commemoration of Sri Hans Ji Maharaj, the largest procession in Delhi history of 18 miles of procession; it culminated in a public event at India Gate, where Sant Ji Maharaj addressed the large gathering"
  47. ^ Hindustan Times, 9 November 1970 (English) "Roads in the Capital spilled over with a 1,000,000 processionists, men, women and children marched from Indra Prasha Estate to the India Gate lawn."
  48. ^
  49. ^ El Tiempo, Millones marcharon contra las FARC
  50. ^ Million Man March. Background Center for Remote Sensing (adapted from Boston University Press Release dated 27 October 1997)


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