On Friday 31st July Muslims around the world will be celebrating Eid Ul-Adha, the second of the annual Eid festivals, referred to as ‘Big Eid.’ This festival occurs directly after the month of Hajj in the Islamic Calendar. Hajj is the great Pilgrimage every Muslim must attend once in their lifetime, it is significant as it is one of the Five pillars of Islam, the backbone of each Muslim’s way of life and faith. Eid Ul- Adha symbolises Abraham/Ibrahim’s test to sacrifice his son Ishmael/Ismail to God, at the point of sacrifice God replaced his son with a Ram instead to sacrifice, a symbol of mercy. Muslim celebrate this as commemoration of their willingness to sacrifice worldly pleasures for the sake of their creator, making Eid Ul-Adha the festival of sacrifice.
Muslims celebrate by washing, wearing their finest clothes and attending Eid prayer in congregation at their local place of worship or mosque. Obviously, with social distancing in place this celebration will be different for many families choosing instead to pray at home. Afterward, it is customary to embrace and wish each other Eid Mubarak, which translates as “have a blessed Eid,” give gifts/money to children, and visit friends and relatives.
One of the central rituals on Eid al-Adha is Qurbani, the act of sacrificing a sheep, goat, or cow. According to Islamic rules, the animal must be an adult and in good health, and British law additionally mandates that the animal must be killed in an official slaughterhouse. The meat is then divided between family, friends, and the poor. Other Muslims give money to charity to give poorer families the chance to have a proper Eid feast. Mosques or other groups may arrange communal meals. Majority of Muslims in Britain, who are considered more fortunate than others, tend to donate large amounts of money to feed villages in developing countries, offering the feast of meat and savory foods instead of delivering meat to their loved ones locally.
“On a personal note, as I always like to say knock on a Muslim neighbours door asking how they choose to celebrate and of course to steal some food. There will be lots of traditional meat curries, kebabs, biryani and soul warming sweet dishes like saffron rice, vermicelli and baklava.”
Asya, Breaking Down Barriers, Community Engagement Manager
We would love to see how you are celebrating at home; your feasts and wonderfully vibrant clothes so we can showcase these on our social media channels and on our website.