Eid al-Adha or "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Eid" is a religious festival
celebrated by Muslims at the end of the Hajj. It commemorates the Sacrifice made by
the Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) when God asked him to give his own son.
Abraham's main trials was to face the command of Allah to kill his only son. Upon
hearing this command, he prepared to submit to Allah's will. When he was all prepared
to do it, Allah revealed to him that his "sacrifice" had already been fulfilled. He
had shown that his love for his Lord superceded all others, that he would lay down his
own life or the lives of those dear to him in order to submit to God.
Eid al-Adha is celebrated annually on the 10th day of the 12th and the last Islamic
month of the lunar Islamic calendar.
Eid al-Adha has many popular names such as Eid el-Kibir (the 'Big' Eid), Bari Eid,
Baed Eid, Bakri Eid, Kurban Bayram, Kurban Bajram, Qurban Bayram, Kurban Bayram, Kurban
Eit, Idul Adha or Iduladha.
The Arabic term "Festival of Sacrifice", is similar to the Semitic roots that evolved
into Indic languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati and Bengali and Austronesian languages
such as Malay and Indonesian.
The celebration of Eid al-Adha commemorates this event as Muslims all over the world
sacrifice an animal during this day. This is known as Qurbani.
The feast re-enacts Ibrahim's obedience by sacrificing a cow or ram. The meat from the
sacrifice of Eid al-Adha is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by immediate
family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the
The act symbolizes the willingness to give up things that are of benefit or close to
the hearts, in order to follow Allah's commands. It also symbolizes one's willingness to give
up, in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need. It is recognized
that all blessings come from Allah, and it should open the hearts and share with others.
"It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, it is your piety that reaches
Him." (Qur'an 22:37)
The Feast of the Sacrifice symbolizes obedience to Allah and its distribution to others is an
expression of generosity, one of the five pillars of Islam.
This festival is a very happy time for Muslims for special prayers, visits to family and
friends, gifts to children and, of course by food. For many families, it may be one of
the few times during the year that they have the opportunity to enjoy meat, and only the
best dishes are served.
Many Muslims of many heritages, including North Africa, Pakistan, Eastern Europe, wear
traditional clothes and share their national dishes. It is a time for prayer, sharing meals,
handing out gifts and wishing one another well.