EID AL-ADHA is a major celebration in the Islamic calendar and marks the sacrifices made to God.
Here is all the information about Eid al-Adha, when it takes place and what exactly it is:
What is Eid al-Adha?
The phrase Eid al-Adha translates as the “festival of the sacrifice” and is also known as the Greater Eid. It is a holy time of sacrifice and generosity to friends, family and the needy. Muslims honour the Eid al-Adha as the time Ibrahim - known as Abraham to Jews and Christians - was going to sacrifice his son Isaac. Instead Abraham was ordered by God to kill an animal instead.
The celebrations symbolise Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah and they mark the end of the Hajj, the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca which thousands of Muslims all over the world embark on.
Eid al-Adha is different from Eid al-Fitr – which is the festival after Ramadan.
When is Eid al-Adha?
In the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Adha takes place on the 10th day of the 12th month and lasts for four days until the 13th day.
This year it will start on Friday, September 1 and will end in the evening of Tuesday, September 5.
Different interpretations mean that Greater Eid falls on a different day depending on the sect, mosque or region.
How is Eid al-Adha celebrated?
Muslims begin their celebrations with morning prayers, followed by food and exchanging of gifts with family and friends.
They also share their food and money with the poor so that they can celebrate too.
Worshippers will usually slaughter a sheep or a goat as part of the festivities – but anyone wishing to sacrifice an animal in the UK must conform to welfare standards.
The celebration marks the end of the Hajj.
Why do the dates of Eid al-Adha change each year?
The Islamic calendar is different from the widely-used Gregorian calendar in the West.
It is based on the moon’s cycle, whereas the Gregorian one is determined by the sun.
As the two don’t align, the Islamic dates move back by 11 days each year.
The day is set when a new moon is spotted – but there is little agreement within the faith about whether the moon must be spotted with the naked eye or if it should be seen in the country where the celebrations are occurring.
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