Eid al-Adha, is the Muslim festival that commemorates the willingness of the patriarch Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael at the command of Allah (God). Eid al-Adha takes place on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijja, the 12th month of the Islamic lunar calendar and the month of the annual Hajj. Because Eid al-Adha commemorates Abraham’s sacrifice, giving and sharing are the essence of the festival. All Muslims who can afford to do so sacrifice a sheep or other animal and distribute the meat to relatives or the poor. The sacrificed sheep represents the ram that God allowed Abraham to substitute for his son. The sacrifice occurs on the first day of the three-day festival, after which most pilgrims depart from Mecca. For those who have not made the pilgrimage to Mecca, Eid al-Adha is a time for visiting the graves of relatives and for visiting with family and friends.

Eid al-Adha is one of two major Islamic holidays (eid). The other is Eid al-Fitr, the Feast of Fast-Breaking, which follows Ramadan, the month of fasting.

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