Here’s when Eid al-Adha is and what the feast of sacrifice is all about

eid-al-adhaIn the final month of the Islamic lunar calendar, Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha. If you’re unfamiliar with the event, or just need to brush up on when it begins, we’ve put together a handy guide. Let’s start with the basics.

What is Eid al-Adha?

This year, the Hajj pilgrimage has been closed to foreigners and will be limited to no more than 60,000 people, as opposed to the usual 2 million.(Reuters: Sultan Al-Masoudi/Handout)
Eid (Arabic for the words “feast” or “festival”) is an occasion celebrated by Muslims during significant events. Eid al-Adha, also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice, takes place in the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It shouldn’t be confused with Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of Breaking the Fast which we’ll explain in a minute. Eid al-Adha marks the final day of the annual Muslim holy pilgrimage called Hajj, where millions of Muslims head to the Islamic holy site of Mecca. However, because of the coronavirus pandemic, the ritual has been restricted to Saudi Arabia residents only.

When is Eid-al-Adha?

This year, Eid al-Adha is celebrated on the evening of Monday, July 19, and ends on the evening of Friday, 23 July.

What’s the story behind Eid al-Adha?

flock of sheep
According to Islamic beliefs, Allah (God) replaced Abraham’s son, Ishmael with a sheep before he could be sacrificed.(Unsplash: Julian Schiemann)

The celebration marks the trial faced by Prophet Abraham when he was told to sacrifice his son, Ishmael.

It’s similar to the story in both the Christian and Jewish faiths, which believe Abraham was tasked with sacrificing his other son, Isaac.

The command was sent to test his obedience and submission to the will of God.

According to Islamic teaching, God replaced Ishmael with a sheep before the event could take place.

To commemorate this intervention, Muslims would slaughter sheep and other livestock which would be shared between family, friends and those less fortunate.

How is Eid al-Adha celebrated?

distancing at mosque
Last year, Muslims in Australia spent Eid al-Adha donating food and necessities to the community.(Supplied, PGCC)

The pandemic has prevented Muslims outside of Saudi Arabia from taking part in the pilgrimage, and restrictions have prevented Muslims from gathering at mosques for communal prayers.

However, it doesn’t mean they can’t celebrate Eid al-Adha.

Muslims can still celebrate Eid with their families and carry out charity such as donating food and essentials to those in need.

But didn’t Muslims celebrate Eid recently?

Yes they did but that was a different Eid, known as Eid al-Fitr.

Eid al-Fitr is the festival to commemorate the end of Ramadan which is when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for a month.

Can you still say ‘Eid Mubarak’?

Eid Mubarak” is Arabic for “Blessed Eid”, so just like Eid al-Fitr, you can use the same greeting with your Muslim friends.


Eid Mubarak = “Blessed Eid”


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