What is Eid el-Kebir for Muslims?

What is Eid el-Kebir for Muslims?
What is Eid el-Kebir for Muslims?

The sacrifice requested by God from Abraham

In the Muslim prophetic tradition, this day of celebration commemorates a historical event common to the three monotheistic religions (Christianity, Judaism and Islam), the sacrifice requested by God from Abraham, to test and prove his faith: immolating his son, Ishmael. Abraham accepts, to obey his God, but the archangel Gabriel, sent to stop his action, replaces Ishmael with a ram, or a sheep. This is why, during Eid el-Kébir, practitioners sacrifice a sheep, a cow, a goat…

A different date every year

Eid el-Kebir takes place on the 10th of the month of Dhu al-Hijja, the last month of the Muslim calendar, and each year marks the end of the hajj period, the pilgrimage to Mecca. Like that of other festivals of the Muslim religion, the date of this great festival which lasts three days, is determined by the lunar calendar, which has fewer days than the Gregorian calendar (354 or 355 instead of 365 or 366). It therefore changes every year. This year, it begins on Sunday June 16, 2024.

Traditions of sharing and conviviality

The faithful, dressed in their best clothes, gather early in the morning in places of prayer. According to tradition, the head of the family is then responsible for killing the animal by draining it of its blood, without knocking it out. The meat is then divided into three: for the family, for loved ones and for the poor. Alms, gifts… As with Ramadan, generosity and solidarity with the most deprived people are in the spotlight. After performing the Eid prayer, Muslims wish each other Eid Mubarak, “happy (Eid) holiday”, as we say “merry Christmas” or “best wishes” in the Christian tradition.

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