Eid al-Adha 2018: Prayers offered at Great Mosque of Mecca
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Eid al-Adha, said to be the holier of the two Eids, will see families come together to pray, feast, exchange gifts and celebrate with loved ones. Eid al-Adha is the ‘feast of sacrifice,’ and is nicknamed ‘Big Eid’.
When is Eid al-Adha 2021?
Like Eid al-Fitr, the date of Eid al-Adha depends on the Islamic lunar calendar and the sighting of the crescent moon, signalling the changing month.
Current estimates are that Eid al-Adha will begin on Monday, July 19 and end in the evening of Friday, July 23.
The sighting of the new moon will vary between countries, so the exact date depends on local religious authorities and could yet change.
Read More: Eid 2021: Is Eid on the same day everywhere? Moon sighting explained
Eid al-Adha falls on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and final month in the Islamic calendar.
In the international solar Gregorian calendar, the dates drift about 11 days earlier each year.
What about Hajj?
The moon also determines the date of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims.
Hajj begins on the eighth day of the Dhu al-Hijjah, so two days before Eid.
That means this year, it is due to commence on Saturday, July 17 and end on Thursday, July 22.
When Eid begins, those observing Hajj will celebrate with the slaughtering of an animal in honour of the prophet Ibrahim.
In Islamic scripture, Ibrahim obeyed God’s order to sacrifice his own son.
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But before he could do so, God provided a male goat to sacrifice instead, sparing his son.
In commemoration of this, the slaughtered animal is divided into three parts: one third is given to the poor and needy; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbours; and the remaining third is kept by the family.
Hajj is intended to be an empowering event in a Muslim’s life, with spiritual merit and the opportunity of self-renewal.
Hajj is a mandatory religious duty for Muslims, that must be carried out one in their lifetimes by all adults who can physically and financially undertake the journey.
This is one of the five pillars of Islam, along with Shahadah (belief in the oneness of God and acceptance of Muhammad as prophet), Salat (prayer), Zakat (charity) and Sawm (fasting).
Each year, millions of Muslims travel to Mecca for Hajj, but this year is expected to be quite different due to the pandemic.
In 2020, Saudi authorities announced that, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pilgrims from outside the Kingdom would not be permitted to enter Saudi Arabia.
The UK government said: “British citizens wishing to perform Umrah or Hajj should follow announcements on FCDO official social media channels @ukinsaudiarabia and guidance from local authorities.
“Before you travel for pilgrimage, you should carefully consider the information and advice on the website of the Saudi Arabia Embassy in London, and in the National Travel Health Network and Centre’s (NaTHNaC) factsheet.”
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