Eid al-Adha: Muslims Celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice

Bakra Eid or Eid al-Adha is an Islamic sacrificial festival. It is celebrated as the highlight of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. It begins on the tenth of the Islamic month Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts four days. Due to the Islamic lunar calendar, the sacrificial festival can take place at any time of the year. It moves backward in the solar calendar by eleven days a year.

Together with the Eid al-Fitr, the feast of fasting at the beginning of the month of Shawwal after Ramadan, it is one of the most important festivals of the Islamic year.

It is customary for Muslim believers to sacrifice an animal to celebrate the feast if they can afford it financially. The flesh of the animal is then distributed among the poor and hungry. There is, yet, a dissent about the duty character of this sacrifice among the Muslim scholars.

While some scholars classified the sacrifice as obligatory, others regard it as an established custom (Sunnah mu'akkadah). It is customary to offer the best wishes to all friends and relatives before sacrifice and to give them something of the flesh. Sometimes animals are sacrificed to thank God.

According to regional availability, sheep and other domesticated animals such as goats, cattle, camels in dry areas or water buffaloes are slaughtered as in Indonesia. In general, only cloven-hoofed animals, other than the pig are slaughtered ritually.

The mosque is visited both on the first morning of the sacrificial festival and the first morning of the fasting to perform a special prayer.

Usually, the visit to the mosque is followed by a visit to the cemetery, to commemorate dead relatives. People read verses from Koran. It does not correspond to the Prophet 's Sunnah Celebration in different countries.

The rest of the day is used to visit relatives and acquaintances. A wide range of dishes and beverages are served. Both the men and the women wear particularly beautiful or new clothes. The house is also cleaned and kept tidy.