Eid al-Adha sees Muslim families across the globe come together to pray, feast, exchange gifts and celebrate with loved ones. This Eid is said to be the holier of the two, and the most important festival in the Islamic calendar. The first Eid, Eid al-Fitr, occurred in June and is a celebration after Ramadan, the month of fasting.
What does Eid Mubarak mean?
Eid Mubarak is an Arabic term that translates to ‘happy festival’ or ‘blessed Eid’.
The term is used by Muslims all over the world to wish each other a happy Eid, and by non-Muslims to their friends celebrating Eid!
Eid Mubarak is pronounced in English like ‘eed mu-buh-ruck’.
How is Eid al-Adha celebrated?
Eid al-Adha is the ‘feast of sacrifice,’ and is nicknamed ‘Big Eid’.
Familis gather together to exchange gifts and money and eat traditional food.
Muslims may invoke an act of charity by slaughtering a sheep and distribute its meat.
The meat is shared between three groups: one share is given to the poor and needy, another is kept for home, and the third is given to relatives.
Muslims are also encouraged to be especially neighbourly and reach out to one another during this period.
Eid also coincides with Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims.
It is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims, that must be carried out once in their lifetimes by all adults who can physically and financially undertake the journey.
It is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with Shahadah (belief in the oneness of God and acceptance of Muhammad as prophet), Salat (prayer), Zakat (charity) and Sawm (fasting).
When Eid begins, those observing Hajj will celebrate with the slaughtering of an animal in honour of the prophet Ibrahim.
In Islamic scripture, Ibrahim obeyed God’s order to sacrifice his own son.
But before he could do so, God provided a male goat to sacrifice instead, sparing his son.
In commemoration of this, the slaughtered animal is divided into three parts: one third is given to the poor and needy; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbours; and the remaining third is kept by the family.
Hajj is intended to be an empowering event in a Muslim’s life, with spiritual merit and the opportunity of self-renewal.
Last year, about two million Muslims travelled to Mecca for Hajj.