Millions of Muslims all over the world observe Eid al-Adha, meaning “Festival of Sacrifice”, tomorrow, on Tuesday, 3rd of October 2015. Currently it’s the year 1435 of the lunar-based Islamic Calendar. Eid al-Adha, also called Eid al-Kabir, meaning “Great Festival”, is one of the three most significant religious holidays of Islam, besides Eid al-Fitr celebrating the end of Ramadan, and Milad un-Nab, Prophet Muhammad’s birthday. All three major Muslim feasts are national holidays in Sri Lanka, respecting the large Muslim community inhabiting the island for many centuries. However, Aid ul-Adha is a single bank holiday in Sri Lanka, whereas it is a tree-days feast (until 5th of August this year) in Mecca.
Eid al-Adha marks the conclusion of the Hajj celebration in Mecca. It begins on the 10th day of the Muslim pilgrimage month Dhu'l-Hijja, which is the last month of the Islamic calendar. Eid al-Adha celebrations start after the descent of the pilgrims from Mount Arafat, a hill situated east of Mecca. 3 million people are expected to celebrate it in Mecca. Also Muslim families staying at home celebrated Eid al-Adha with sacrifices of animals, usually sheep, and distributing the meat among relatives, friends and people in need.
Muslims believe that Eid al-Adha is the day when Prophet Ibrahim proved his willingness to sacrifice his own son Ismail (not Isaac) as an act submission to God's command. At the last minute God intervened, giving Ibrahim a lamb to sacrifice it instead. The basis for the feast comes from the 196th verse the second sura of the Quran, Al-Baqara.
In 2015, Aid al-Adhan will be celebrated on the 23rd of September.
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