What is Eid Al-Adha?
Eid Al-Adha is one of Islam’s holy holidays. Also known as the Festival of Sacrifice it is celebrated annually during the 10th-13th days of the month of Dhu Al Hijjah (based on the lunar calendar). The celebration follows the completion of the Hajj pilgrimage. For an easy to read, description of Eid Al-Adha you can visit a great Wikipedia entry here.
How Is Eid Al-Adha Celebrated?
On the first day of Eid Al-Adha, Muslims attend a prayer and sermon either at the mosque or a designated park area. Once the prayers and sermon have concluded Muslims exchange greetings with each other (by saying Eid Mubarak), give gifts to children and visit friends and family at their homes.
Traditionally, Muslims sacrifice an animal (lamb, cow, camel etc) and split the meat into 3 portions. The first part would be kept for the family, the next would be given to extended family and friends with the remaining portion being distributed to the poor and needy.
In Australia, Eid Al-Adha is not recognised as a public holiday so Muslims will still attend to work and school commitments as normal. In suburbs with a larger Muslim population, the local mosque or Islamic association will generally hold a public prayer in the local council park.
Many Muslims also take this opportunity to invite their non-Muslim friends, neighbours, co-workers and classmates to their Eid festivities so to introduce them to the celebrations and share their religion and culture.
Eid Al-Adha At My Place
As I have mentioned in previous posts, I am a convert to Islam. I grew up celebrating Christmas and Easter with traditions relating to those holidays. Therefore I needed to create my own Eid traditions that were unique to our family.
Leading up to Eid, I create excitement by reading stories and watching cartoons related to Eid Al-Adha. We also start the countdown. Nothing creates excitement more than telling your kids “only (insert number) more sleeps until Eid”!
The day before Eid, I download a whole heap of printable decorations. Maya and I spend the morning colouring and decorating them to hang around the house. We then do some baking and work out what yummy food we will eat. Maya absolutely LOVES helping me in the kitchen. But she always seems to disappear when it’s time to clean up!
On the morning of Eid, before we can even open our eyes the girls beg to open their gifts. Then we shovel in some Vegemite toast so we can make our way to the public Eid prayer. After the prayer, all the kids play together and enjoy some of the activities that are provided. We spend the remainder of the day visiting friends to say, Eid Mubarak. Finally, when we make our way home in the late afternoon the only thing left to do is collapse into a food coma!
I would like to extend an invitation to all of you. To attend Eid festivities in your local area. Go check it out and see what it is all about, the more the merrier!
If you are in Sydney and would like to come with my family and I, you are welcome. Contact me via email or my facebook page and we can make a day of it! Everyone is welcome and there are heaps of activities to keep the kids entertained.
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