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Eid Al Adha: an Islamic festival

Saudi Arabia declared that Eid Al Adha will start on Friday, July 31. The crescent was sighted on Tuesday, marking the first day of Dhul Al Hijjah,the 12th month of the Islamic Hijri calendar.

Eid Al Adha is celebrated on the 10th day of Dhul Al Hijjah.

What is this event that is celebrated by muslims all over the world?

Eid al-Adha is an Islamic festival which commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah's (God's) command to sacrifice his son. Muslims around the world observe this event. A national holiday in many muslim countries, the festival lasts for three days. Eid Al Adha translates to the 'festival of sacrifice'.

What happens on Eid Al Adha

Eid Al Adha is the second of two festivals that muslims celebrate.

Muslims perform their annual pilgrimage of Hajj during the 8th, 9th, 10th and 11th of Dhul Al Hijjah. They make a pilgrimage to the holy places of Makkah, Mina and Arafat.

For those who do not perform Hajj, they fast the first ten days of Dhul A Hijjah.

The day begins with muslims going to the mosque early in the morning on the first day of the holiday to pray.

The Eid prayer is a small prayer and takes place at a mosque or an open field where people can congregate. Afterwards, Muslims greet each other and head for the animal they are going to sacrifice. The festivities start after the animal has been sacrificed. Meat from the sacrificed animal is distributed among family, friends and the needy.

Another significant day for Muslims is when the Islamic new year begins on the 1st of Muharam, which coincides with August 19 or 20.

Eid Al Adha is a time when families gather and enjoy each others company. Kids are given presents and big family dinners are planned.

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