“Hope love and laughter, warmth, wishes, joy and a bouquet of Eid wishes, jubilations, become a part of your Eid and your life.” Unknown
It’s a public holiday in the UAE from tomorrow as muslims observe and celebrate the second main festival in the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha. This Islamic festival commemorates Prophet Abraham’s (also known as Ibrahim) willingness to sacrifice everything for God including his own son, Ismael. Impressed by Abraham’s sincerity God gave him a ram to sacrifice instead.
At Eid al-Adha, Muslims make a special effort to pray and go to the mosque to listen to a sermon, they may wear new clothes and visit family members and friends. Some symbolically sacrifice an animal in an act known as qurbani, representing the animal that Ibrahim sacrificed in the place of his son. Traditionally a third of the sacrificed animal was kept, a third shared with family and the final third given to poorer people but nowadays it’s more common to give money to enable poorer members of the community to eat a meat-based meal.
In the period around Eid al-Adha, many Muslims are known to travel to Mecca and the surrounding area in Saudi Arabia to perform the Hajj pilgrimage, one of the five pillars of Islam.
What does Eid al-Adha mean for expats? Known to many expats as ‘Big Eid’ it generally means a few days off school and work for expat families. Many residents take the opportunity to travel as the UAE is an excellent base to explore nearby countries that are only a short-haul flight away (we are currently in Kerala, India) and others take these few days as a staycation, enjoying the great UAE beaches, outdoor activities and of course the shopping malls.
On this special occasion, anexpatabroad wishes everyone a Happy Eid al-Adha
Image used courtesy of www.allfestivals2015.com