Islam observes two Eids (celebration festivals) – Eid ul Fitr and Eid al Adha. Eid ul Fitr is celebrated to mark the completion of the Holy Month of Ramadan, whereas Eid ul Adha, also known as the Greater Eid, signifies the completion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage. It is celebrated at the time of sacrifice, also known as Qurbani.
Here’s all you need to know about Eid al Adha and its celebrations around the world.
Origin and Significance
According to ancient Islamic texts, Abraham continually had a dream that he was sacrificing his son Ishmael. He realized that it was a signal from God. He told Ishmael about his dream, to which Ishamel replied, “Do what you are ordered to do, father.”
Impressed by Abraham and Ishmael’s devotion, God honoured both of them and gifted them a lamb from heaven to slaughter instead of Ishamel. Hence, Muslims sacrifice an animal on the eve of Eid al Adha. The sacrificed animal is then divided into three parts and distributed between family, friends, and those in need.
Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al Adha to commemorate the devotion of Abraham and the survival of Ishmael.
It is also said that during these events, Satan (Shaytaan) approached Abraham and tried to corrupt his mind and tempt him to not follow God’s command. Abraham, devoted to God, drove him away by throwing stones at him. Hence, throwing stones at three walls (jamarat) in the city of Mina is a key ritual act during Hajj.
Traditions and Practices Across the World
While the essence of celebration remains the same, countries worldwide celebrate Eid al Adha in different ways. Let’s look at the celebrations around the world.
United Arab Emirates (UAE)
In UAE, Eid al Adha falls on the 10th day of the Islamic month Dhul Hijjah. There is a public holiday of three days. Celebrations include chanting Eid prayers and people greeting each other with “Eid Mubarak.” People dress up in their best clothes, decorate homes, and prepare delicious dishes.
The festival is known as Eid el Kibr in Egypt. Celebrations begin with prayers and sermons. People host family gatherings, meet their friends and loved ones, and cook delicious meals.
Men from all families go to the mosque for morning prayer. People wear their best clothes on the celebration day, greet relatives, and cook delicious food. Many people make donations to charity organizations as well.
Muslims in Iran dress their best on the day for Eid prayers. After that, people cook delicious meat dishes, along with baghali, rice, and fava to celebrate the occasion.
In Pakistan, people dress well on the day and offer prayers to God, followed by greeting their relatives and cooking various food dishes.
Eid al Adha is known as Bakri Eid in India as Muslims sacrifice a goat (Bakri) on the day. Muslims in India wear new clothes, greet their loved ones, and share food with others.
Eid al Adha is known to be the greatest festival in Islam and holds great traditional and historical significance. The day will be celebrated from the 19th-23rd of July in 2021. So, how is Eid al Adha celebrated in your country?