Eid al-Ahda is one of the two major Islamic festival and is celebrated by nearly 1.2 billion Muslim’s across the world. The festival commemorates the completion of the Hajj pilgrimage and is also “festival of sacrifice”, when Pophet Ibrahim demonstrated his willingness to obey Allah’s command and sacrifice his son Ismail.
When is it celebrated?
The date on which the festival is celebrated changes each year and is dictated by the lunar calendar which relies on sightings of the moon. The festival is always celebrated on the 10th of Zul Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and this year it will be celebrated on the 1st of September.
How is it celebrated?
Celebrating Eid al-Adha starts with the Eid prayer which follows Morning Prayer. Eid prayer is mandatory for both men and women and is to be performed at the mosque. Muslims will then spend time visiting family, neighbors and friends to exchange Eid greetings. It is traditional to celebrate with a feast and wear new clothes. In some countries elders give the gift of money to children and some Muslims will remember their dead by visiting cemeteries to remember their loved ones. The celebration of Eid al-Adha can last up to three days.
Muslims will also sacrifice animals as part of their celebration rituals. The animal is traditionally divided in to 3 which is shared equally between the family, friends and relative and the poor. Collections may also be taken before the Morning Prayer to be distributed to the poor.
If you are Muslim or not Eid al-Adha can be a time for reflection and for joy. It is also important to remember those who are less fortunate than you, so consider giving your maid so time of to celebrate especially if she is Muslim. Your maid may not have any family nearby but she would certainly relish the opportunity to visit the Mosque to pray or exchange greetings with friends and acquaintances.