Lots of Muslims around the world are preparing to celebrate Eid. But you may wonder, didn’t the Muslim community just celebrate Eid? It’s true, they did celebrate Eid earlier this year. The Eid that is held in late spring is called “Eid-al-fitr”, the festival celebrated after a month of fasting. While Eid celebrations held towards the end of summer are known as “Eid-al-Adha,” or the festival of sacrifice.
Eid-al-Adha is held in the twelfth month of the lunar calendar. It begins after Muslims begin “Hajj” or pilgrimage in Mecca. The four day celebration ends at the same time when worshippers in Mecca finish their pilgrimage.
READ MORE: Why Muslims fast during Ramadan
So what exactly is being sacrificed in the festival of sacrifice or “Eid-al-Adha”?
According to Wael Hamadeh, an imam at the Islamic Community Centre of Ontario, thousands of years ago God or “Allah” commanded Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son, Prophet Ismail. Faithful worshipper, Ibrahim decided to follow God’s command and was about to sacrifice his son. At that moment, God asked Ibrahim to pause and told him that the command was a test of his faith and he passed.
God then gave Prophet Ibrahim the option to substitute his son for a lamb instead and continue performing his sacrifice.
To commemorate Ibrahim’s faith in God and sacrifice, Muslims around the world celebrate “Eid-al-Adha.” In many parts of the world, Muslims also celebrate by sacrificing a goat or a lamb and sharing it with their friends, family, and less fortunate.
“The rest, you distribute to all the poorer and less fortunate people within the community because you want the day of the festival to be a day of enjoyment a day of rejoice for everybody around you in the community irrespective of their religion,” says Hamadeh.
Muslims around the world celebrate “Eid-al-adha” with a feast and by reconnecting with their friends and families.