By Christine Cudis
MANILA — Muslims around the world celebrate the end of one of their holiest annual festivals on Monday, the Eid al-Adha, which signifies the end of the hajj pilgrimage, known as the festival of sacrifice.
The celebration is the second major Islamic festival this year next to Eid al-Fitr, which happened after Ramadan in June.
The present celebration commemorates the prophet Ibrahim, who was willing to sacrifice his only son at Allah’s command.
Greeting someone a happy Eid al-Adha can simply go as Eid Mubarak. It means, Happy Festival!
But in case you forget (that short phrase), you can also say it casually as, “May the divine blessings of Allah bring you hope, faith, and joy on Eid al-Adha and forever. Happy Eid al-Adha 2019!”
The celebration started on Sunday (August 11), and will end in four days’ time on Thursday (August 15).
The Islamic calendar is lunar, meaning that Eid al-Adha will begin at different times in different places, depending on when the moon becomes visible.
It typically lasts for four days although some Arab countries observe a nine-day public holiday.
There are over 1.6 billion people around the world who perform special prayers during daylight hours to mark the holy festival.
In the morning, a special prayer called Salat al-Eid is recited, as well as the Dhuhr prayer at noon.
Families and friends typically get together to feast and celebrate and mosques and community groups will often arrange communal meals.
Many people dress up in their best clothes and exchange gifts.
In some countries, animals are brought and sacrificed into three parts with one part being given to the needy, another given to the family and another part to relatives.
This tradition reflects Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son to obey God. (PNA)