tutajshy (tutajshy) wrote in linguaphiles,
tutajshy
tutajshy
linguaphiles

descend on Mecca? why?

Millions descend on Mecca for the start of Haj

This is a sentence from Euronews. Can anyone explain to me, why people actually descend on Mecca, not go there, arrive there or any other verb, but descend. Descend has an odd meaning in my English-Russian dictionary as "going down". Can one use the verb to descend with a meaning of "going on pilgrimage"? Can anyone descend on Jerusalem, Santiago di Compostella, Lourdes, etc.?
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