Eid-al-Adha (Gourban Bayramy / Eid-el-Kebir)
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The Hajj: pilgrims at the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi ArabiaThe Festival of Sacrifice, Eid-al-Adha immediately follows the Day of Arafat (when Muhammad pronounced the final seal on the religion of Islam), Eid ul-Adha gives concrete realization to what the Muslim community ethic means in practice. Although only the pilgrims in Mecca can participate in the Hajj fully, all the other Muslims in the world join with them by celebrating Eid Al-Adha, or "Celebration of Sacrifice" (also known as Eil el-Kebir, Eid Al-Zuha, Bakr-id...)

On the 10th day of Zul-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar, Muslims around the world celebrate this feast of commitment, obedience and self sacrifice to Allah. 

This festival is celebrated throughout the Muslim world as a commemoration of Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice everything for God, including the life of his son Ishmael*.

Because God spared Ishmael, substituting a sheep in his stead, Muslims commemorate this occasion by slaughtering an animal and distributing its meat among family, friends and the needy as a special act of charity for the occasion. Because of this, many poor Muslims are able to enjoy the unusual luxury of eating meat during the four days of the festival. This sacrifice is called "Qurbani".

Mecca: the sacred black stoneThey wear their nicest clothing and attend Salatul-Eid (Eid Prayer) in the morning. This is followed by a short sermon, after which everyone socializes. Next, people visit each other's homes and partake in festive meals with special dishes, beverages, and desserts. Children receive gifts and sweets on this happy occasion. 

In addition to the above, like the pilgrims in Makkah, the Muslims, who can afford to do so, offer domestic animals, usually sheep, as a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice. The meat is distributed for consumption to family, friends, and to the poor and needy.

While Eid al-Fitr is considered to be one day, Eid ul-Adha is supposed to be four days. The first day is the primary holiday, on which men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing and perform prayer (Salah) in a large congregation. Muslims who can afford to do so sacrifice domestic animals, usually sheep. 

*In Jewish and Christian texts Abraham (Ibrahim) was to sacrifice Isaac, not Ishmael.

see also: holidays, history, Eid-al-Fitr, Ramadan, Novruz, religion, images of mosques
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