According to the Saudi Press Agency, the lowest half of the kiswa — the black cloth covering the Kaaba in Makkah — has been raised around three metres in accordance with custom, and the area beneath has been covered with white cotton fabric.
The same operation is conducted every year before Hajj season to protect the kiswa, which some pilgrims touch while circumambulating the Kaaba.
When the kiswa was hoisted, Dr. Abdulrahman Al-Sudais, president of the General Presidency for the Affairs of the Two Holy Mosques, was there.
According to Sultan Al-Qurashi, assistant to the president general for King Abdulaziz Complex for Holy Kaaba Kiswa, exhibitions, engineering, technical, and operational affairs, “raising the lower part of the kiswa serves to preserve its cleanliness and (integrity) and preventing tampering.” He further stated that the kiswa is raised to prevent some pilgrims from engaging in practices “based on false beliefs.”
Every year on the ninth day of the Islamic month of Dul Hijjah, the black silk cloth is removed and replaced with a fresh kiswa.