As the Islamic calendar year comes to an end, Muslims around the world prepare to celebrate one of the holiest festivals of Islam – Eid al-Adha. It is a festival of sacrifice, faith, and devotion to Allah. This festival is celebrated every year on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. Muslims from all over the world, irrespective of their ethnicity, caste, and nationality, celebrate this auspicious day with great enthusiasm and zeal. What is Eid al-Adha? Eid al-Adha, also known as the “Festival of Sacrifice,” is the second most important festival in Islam after Eid al-Fitr. It is a celebration of Prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail (AS) an act of obedience to Allah’s command. Allah, pleased with Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion and submission, intervened and sent a ram to be sacrificed in Ismail’s place. This incident symbolizes the importance of faith, sacrifice, and obedience to Allah in Islam. When is Eid al-Adha Celebrated? Eid al-Adha is celebrated on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, which is the last month of the Islamic calendar. The exact date of the festival depends on the sighting of the moon, and it can vary from country to country. In 2023, Eid al-Adha is expected to be celebrated on the 28th of June, subject to the sighting of the moon. How is Eid al-Adha Celebrated? Eid al-Adha is a three-day festival that begins on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah and ends on the 13th day. The festival is celebrated with great fervor and enthusiasm by Muslims around the world. The celebrations start with Muslims offering the Eid al-Adha prayer in congregation at the mosque or a designated place in their locality. After the prayer, Muslims gather with their families and friends to exchange greetings and share meals. Qurbani or Sacrifice One of the main rituals of Eid al-Adha is the sacrifice of an animal, usually a ram, goat, cow, or camel. This ritual is known as Qurbani. Muslims who can afford to do so purchase an animal and sacrifice it in the name of Allah. The meat is divided into three parts, with one part being kept for the family, another part being distributed among relatives and friends, and the third part being given to the poor and needy. Charity and Zakat Charity and Zakat are an integral part of Eid al-Adha celebrations. Muslims are encouraged to give charity and Zakat to the poor and needy to help them celebrate the festival. Zakat is one of the five pillars of Islam, and it is mandatory for Muslims to give a percentage of their wealth to the poor and needy. Eid al-Adha and Hajj Eid al-Adha is also closely linked with the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Millions of Muslims from around the world gather in Mecca to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, which is considered one of the five pillars of Islam. The Hajj pilgrimage culminates with the celebration of Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Adha Traditions Eid al-Adha is a time for families and friends to come together and celebrate. It is a time to dress up, exchange gifts, and share meals. Some of the common Eid al-Adha traditions include: Preparing Special Foods: Muslims prepare special dishes for Eid al-Adha Eid al-Adha Decorations Eid al-Adha is also a time for decorating homes and mosques. Muslims decorate their homes with colorful lights, balloons, and banners. They also decorate their mosques with beautiful fabrics and carpets to create a festive atmosphere. Eid al-Adha Greetings Eid al-Adha is a time for exchanging greetings and showing appreciation to one another. Muslims greet each other by saying “Eid Mubarak,” which means “Blessed Eid.” They also hug each other as a sign of love and respect. Eid al-Adha Clothing Muslims dress up in their best clothes for Eid al-Adha. Women wear colorful traditional dresses, while men wear new clothes. Children also dress up in new clothes and receive gifts from their elders. Eid al-Adha Prayers Eid al-Adha prayers are an essential part of the celebrations. Muslims gather in mosques or open fields to offer Eid al-Adha prayers in congregation. The prayer consists of two units, and it is led by an Imam.