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A Muslim Celebration - Eid Al-Adha

Every now and then I write about different traditions, celebrations or interesting cultural events … as my way of sharing information.  The better educated we are then the more tolerant we become … and given that we live and operate in an increasingly global community its important to understand our neighbours.

Eid Al-Adha is one of two Islamic feasts celebrated each year. The word Eid translates to “feast.” Eid Al-Adha traditionally lasts for three days and in 2010 falls on or around (according to the lunar calendar) Nov 17th. 

One important aspect of Eid Al-Adha is that it commemorates Abraham’s (Ibrahim) readiness to obey Allah and sacrifice his son, Ishmael.  At the last minute of this sacrifice, Allah spares Abraham and allows him to sacrifice a goat instead.

Eid Al-Adha celebrates the faith and obedience of Abraham, and the mercy that Allah can show. Animal sacrifice is an important part of the feast. The sacrifice of generally sheep or goats is shared with family, friends and the needy. 

The second important aspect of Eid Al-Adha is that it is the end of the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca for the year. Those who have made the Hajj celebrate Eid Al-Adha with particular joy. 

Eid Al-Adha also is an important time for family and friends. People dress in their best clothing and share meals. They visit family members and friends. All are expected to attend the mosque for special prayers, and sometimes a brief talk from the Imam.