Happy Eid el-Adha

Happy Eid el-Adha

Eid el-Adha – 'The festival of the sacrifice' is one of the two big annual Muslim festivals. (The other is Eid el-Fitr, at the end of Ramadan.)

Eid el-Adha coincides with the end of the pilgrimate to Mecca and commemorates the occassion when Allah asked Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Isma'il, as a sign of loyalty. At the last moment, Allah substituted a sheep for the son, and that is why it is traditional to sacrifice sheep at Eid el-Adha. 

The public holiday will begin in most countries at sunset on Sunday 11 August and will usually last four days. 

The Muslim calendar follows a lunar pattern rather than a solar pattern, and so the Muslim year is roughly 11 days shorter than a western year. As a result, events such as Eid al-Adha move about 11 days earlier (ie towards January) each year.