We have been enjoying a rare 3 day public holiday here in the UAE this week. The holiday is for Eid Al Adha, which translates as the Solemn Festival of the Sacrifice. This is the second Eid holiday in the year and marks the end of the annual Hajj to Mecca.
Whilst the holiday is 3 or 4 days depending on where you are, and in which sector you work, today marks the actual (festival) day. So many families will sacrifice a goat, sheep or even a camel today, with one-third of the meat traditionally being shared with neighbours, the poor and needy. This is because the holiday commemorates the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his young and only first-born son in obedience to a command from Allah. It can be a little upsetting as a non-Muslim to see all the goats being carted around in the days leading up to the holiday, but one has to trust the guys doing the butchering know what they are doing and do it quickly.
Anyway just wanted to wish you “Eid Mubarak”!
Eid al-Fitr falls on the first day of Shawwal, the month which follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. It is a time to give to those in need and celebrate with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and joy.
On the day of Eid, Muslims gather early in the morning in outdoor locations or mosques to perform the Eid prayer. After the prayer people visit family and friends, give gifts (especially to children) and make phone calls to distant relatives to give well-wishes for the holiday. These activities traditionally continue for three days. In most Muslim countries this 3 day period is also a public holiday.
So as a hot Ramadan draws to a close I would like to wish you a happy Eid celebration, may every year find you in good health.