Pilgrims circle the Kaaba
in Mecca during
the Hajj -- the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
Eid ul-Adha (pronounced (eed ul ud-ha) is celebrated every year on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja on the lunar Islamic calendar.
By western reckoning, this year Eid ul-Adha begins at sunset on Tuesday, August 21 and ends at sunset on Saturday, August 25, 2018.
Second only in importance to Ramadan, Eid ul-Adha is a time of feasting and family get-togethers, gift giving
and special prayers that commemorate Abraham's near-sacrifice of his son to prove his obedience to Allah.
The holiday is additionally observed by the symbolic sacrifice of a sheep or calf, with a generous portion of the meat given to the poor as an act of charity.
"Eid Murbarak!" (holiday blessings!) is the traditional greeting among the faithful during the Eid ul-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice.
Future Eid ul-Adha dates:
August 11 - 15, 2019
July 30- 31, 2020
July 19 - 20, 2021
Eid ul-Adha and The Hajj
While non-Muslims may not be as familiar with Eid ul-Adha, the pilgrimage associated with the holiday is famous throughout the world.
That is, the Hajj - or the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia which all Muslims who are financially able are required to perform at least once in their lifetimes.
During the Hajj, rich and poor alike gather to circumambulate a huge monolith, the Kaabah, to signify oneness with the faith. Stoning the devil is another ritual performed in an effort to renounce the material world and ultimately experience spiritual rebirth.
DID YOU KNOW?
Eid ul-Adha fun facts
Fair warning: you'll overeat!
• The greeting during Eid ul-Adha, "Eid Mubarak" is pronouncewd Eeed Mooo-Barack. Eid means "holiday" or “celebration” and Mubarak means “blessed”, which literally translates to have a blessed holiday.
• On the first day of the celebration, Muslims visit local mosques for their morning prayers. But when returning home they must take a different route home than they normally do. (No one knows exactly why. It's tradition!)
• Eid ul-Adha is similar to Christmas or Easter, and includes the wearing of new clothes, exchanging gifts, eating traditional holiday foods and attending special services at the Mosque with family members.
• Eid-ul-Adha is also called "Salty Eid" for the large variety of savory dishes served as the main meal. These may include beef or mutton or shish kebab in the Mideast, or popular rice dishes such as Biryani in Southeast Asia. Traditional desserts call for sweet pastries flavored with pistachio, almond or walnut. Like most holidays, during Eid ul-Adha you are sure to gain a little extra weight!
Eid ul-Adha around the Web:
On the Web, discover more about Eid ul-Adha and the Hajj, including more on their history and meaning told in virtual tours and photo galleries, kid-friendly teaching resources, along with e-cards to send in honor of the festival that reaffirms the faith among millions of Muslims worldwide ...
Eid ul-Adha - Extensive Wikipedia guide with information on the history, traditions and prayers of the celebration as observed in Saudi Arabia, India, Pakistan, Indonesia, Turkey and other Islamic countries with a related calendar, references & resources.
BBC Schools - Hajj and Eid ul-Adha - Student guide to the reasons and rituals of the Muslim celebration with related FAQ, suggested classroom activities and resources to more information.
Virtual Hajj - A map & photo tour depicting the journey to Mecca with virtual stops in Mina, the Mount of Mercy, Muzdalifah, and information on traditional rites and customs.
ul Adha E-Cards - Galleries of elegant, religious, or warm & humorous e-cards to send to friends & loved ones.