Eid-al-Adha: Significance and Celebrations
Eid-al-Adha is one of the most significant festivals of Muslims. Known as the sacrifice feast, the festival of Eid-al-Adha marks the end of Hajj, which is an annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca. The festival, which falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, is celebrated with much devotion by Muslims around the world. Eid-al-Adha is one of the two Eid festivals celebrated by Muslims. The other is Eid al-Fitr. However, Eid-al-Adha is considered holier of the two Eids. The festival, which is also known as Bakrid in India, will be celebrated on August 11 and 12 this year.
Significance of Eid al Adha
The holiest Muslim festival, Eid-al-Adha is called the Sacrifice Feast and is observed to honour the devotion of Ibrahim to the almighty Allah. As per a legend, Allah appeared in Ibrahim’s dream. As an act of obedience to God, Allah directed Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, Ismail. A firm believer, Ibrahim proceeded to carry out God’s command. Though the devil did tempt Ibrahim not to obey the command of God, the devotee paid no heed to it. Just as Ibrahim was about to carry out the sacrifice, Allah appeared and instead gave him a lamb which Ibrahim sacrificed. Hence, on this day a lamb is sacrificed and Ibrahim is remembered by all Muslims around the world for his obedience to God.
Eid al Adha Celebrations
Though Eid-al-Adha is a four-day festival, public holidays can vary from country to country. On this day, Muslims greet each other by saying Eid Mubarak, which is an Arabic greeting and means Blessed Eid. People exchange gifts with one another and elaborate family meals are organized. In the mornings, Muslims pray at local mosques and also wear new clothes. On the day, a cow, goat, camel or sheep is sacrificed, depending on the region. This is done in remembrance of the story of Ibrahim. The meat is divided into three parts. The family eats one-third of the meat, while one part is kept for friends and relatives. The remaining part is given to the needy and poor people. People also indulge in charity by helping the poor and needy.
Difference between Eid al-Adha and Eid ul-Fitr
Of the two Eids – Eid al-Adha and Eid ul-Fitr – the former is considered holier and is widely celebrated. However, both the Eids are different. Eid-al-Adha is a celebration honoring Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son on the command of Allah. On Eid-al-Adha some Muslims sacrifice a cow, goat, or sheep.
Meanwhile, the Eid-al-Fitr is a joyous festival that marks the culmination of the holy month of Ramadan. During the period of Ramadan, Muslims around the world fast from sunrise till sunset.