Blog written by Kami Hero Youssef Ayoub, a High School Teacher from Morroco.

What is Eid al-Adha?

Eid al-Adha is the latter of the two Islamic holidays celebrated worldwide each year. It honors the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of obedience to God’s command. Before Ibrahim could sacrifice his son, however, Allah provided a ram to sacrifice instead.

There are two key Eid’s (Celebration Festivals) in Islam: Eid al-Fitr, which signifies the completion of the Holy Month of Ramadan; and Eid al-Adha, the greater Eid, which follows the completion of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, at the time of Qurbani (sacrifice).

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When is Eid al-Adha celebrated?

Eid al-Adha is a public holiday in Muslim countries. Eid al-Adha will be celebrated this year in the month of July.

How Eid al-Adha Is Celebrated?

Because Ibrahim was allowed to sacrifice a ram instead of his son, Eid al-Adha is traditionally celebrated with the symbolic sacrifice of a lamb, goat, cow, camel or other animal. This sacrifice is then divided into threes to be shared equally among family, friends, and those in need.

Muslim worshippers typically perform a communal prayer (ṣalāt) at dawn on the first day of the festival; attend Mosque; donate to charities and visit with family and friends; also exchanging gifts.

How is Eid al-Adha different from Eid al-Fitr?

In Arabic, “Eid” means festival or feast and there are two major “Eids” celebrated by Muslims.

The first, Eid al-Fitr (Arabic for “festival of the breaking of the fast”), occurs at the end of Ramadan: a month-long period when Muslims fast daily from sunrise to sunset. Also known as Sawm, it’s one of the five pillars of the Islamic faith. Ramadan marks the month Allah revealed the first verses of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.

Eid al-Adha, generally considered the holier of the two Eid festivals, takes place about two months after Eid al-Fitr – the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. The dates of both holidays are the same every year according to the Islamic lunar calendar.

How is Eid al-Adha celebrated in the classroom?