“The wish that I wish for you, is that all your wishes come true. Eid Mubarak.” Unknown
Here in the UAE everyone is gearing up for the impending four-day long weekend of Eid al-Adha celebrations. Much like Bank Holidays in the UK, Eid gives workers days off for the public holiday and schools close in order to mark the occasion which sees a mass exodus of the expat population as they take advantage of the free holiday days and our proximity to beautiful holiday destinations such as The Maldives, Sri Lanka and the Seychelles to name a few of the more popular. Others will take road trips to neighbouring emirates and Oman.
Wishing everyone a happy Eid (source: www.wallpapers and images.com)
Shopping malls and restaurants/cafes will extend their opening hours over the Islamic holiday, some staying open until 2am and 3am! Dubai has been decorated with multi coloured lights and flags and will host nine consecutive nights of fireworks displays starting today and running until 11th October in various locations as well as concerts and family entertainment.
Eid al-Adha (also known as Greater Eid, Big Eid and Feast of the Sacrifice) is the latter of the two Eid holidays, the former being Eid al-Fitr that is celebrated at the end of Ramadan each year. Eid al-Adha, which moves each year according to the lunar calendar honours the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his promised son Ishmael (Ismail) as an act of submission to Allah’s (God) command, before Allah intervened to provide Abraham with a lamb to sacrifice instead (source:Wikipedia). Muslims worldwide observe Eid al-Adha with special Eid prayers and celebrations.
Muslim pilgrims praying at the Grand mosque in Mecca (source:www.telegraph.co.uk/)
Traditionally muslims will wear new clothes at Eid al-Adha, visit family members and friends and some may symbolically sacrifice an animal (such as a goat or sheep) in an act known as ‘qurbani’ representing the animal that Ibrahim sacrificed in the place of his son. Alternatively, they may purchase a whole carcass from a butcher to share for a communal meal. Eid is also a time for giving and money will be donated to give poorer members of the community the opportunity to eat a meat-based meal. Many Muslims may also travel to Mecca in Saudi Arabia around this time to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, which is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Eid Mubarak everyone, which loosely translated means ‘Happy Eid’ or ‘Blessed Eid’ much like we would wish everyone ‘Merry Christmas’ in our Christian culture.
All views are my own. Unless otherwise stated, all photos on this page © Jo Brett 2014. All rights reserved.