September. Sacrifice Feast, the holiest day for Muslims
Holiday. Eid Al Adha, or Sacrifice Feast.
When? On August 11th in 2019.
Where? It is one of the two biggest Muslim holidays, celebrated every year worldwide. In this article: Afghanistan.
The meaning and history. Eid Al Adha honors the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to order from Allah. Before he sacrificed his son, Allah sent his angel Jibra'il (Gabriel), who then put a sheep in his son's place. This story is told in the Koran in Sura 37,99–113. Eid days are considered the holiest days in Islamic Calendar.
How it is celebrated. Every Muslim country has its own traditions. In Iran and Afghanistan, Persian-speakers call this holiday Eid (Eyd) e Qorbán and Pashto-speakers call it Loy Akhtar (literally, "the Greater Eid"). People start to prepare for it ten days before, they fast and clean our houses. Sacrifice Feast begins very early, before the dawn, when all the Muslims are washing their bodies, dressing the best clothes and going to the mosque for the morning prayer. It’s forbidden to eat before the first prayer.
After praying, people go home and have a feast breakfast with their families. Later they return to the mosque to listen to the solemn sermon about the history of the holiday.
The most important thing for believers is to sacrifice a young lamb, cow or camel to the age of one year. The meat from the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts: the family retains one-third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends, and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy. If the part of the sacrificed animal is not being eaten, it’s not allowed to eat the meat next day.
Family traditions. Parviz Ahmadi (21) moved to Carinthia from Afghanistan a year ago to learn and work here. “For me, Eid e Qorbán is a holiday of joy and love to Allah. Traditionally, in Afghanistan, we celebrate it three days. It’s very good time when people have fun, music plays loud direct on the streets and all Muslims are happy. We greet each other with the words “Eid Mubarak” and wish everyone to make a pilgrimage to holy places. Besides, we give each other presents and visit our relatives and friends.
It will be my second Sacrifice Feast in Austria. My family lives in Afghanistan and I miss it very much. There is an old tradition to give money on Eid e Qorbán to children, and I am going to send some money to my younger brother and sister per the Western Union”. (September 2017)
How do people around the world celebrate the Sacrifice Feast? You'll find more photos here: http://archive.boston.com/bigpicture/2012/10/in_preparation_for_eid.html
Text: Vita Vitrenko.