Eid el-Kébir: what does this festival celebrated by Muslims from this Sunday consist of?

Eid el-Kébir: what does this festival celebrated by Muslims from this Sunday consist of?
Eid el-Kébir: what does this festival celebrated by Muslims from this Sunday consist of?

A major holiday in Islam, Eid el-Kebir begins this Sunday, June 16 for the Muslim faithful with three days of celebrations in sight.

Celebrated each year by faithful Muslims around the world, the festival of Eid-El-Kébir – also known as Eid al-Adha – begins this Sunday, June 16.

Literally, it means “the big celebration”, as opposed to Eid esseghir or Eid el-Fitr, (“the little celebration”), which celebrates the end of Ramadan.

It commemorates, according to Muslim tradition, the sacrifice that God asked of Abraham to test his faith: to immolate his son, Ishmael. But the archangel Gabriel, sent to stop his action, offers him at the last minute to kill a sheep in his place. This is why, during Eid el-Kébir, practitioners sacrifice an animal (sheep, cow or goat), and offer part of the meat to the needy.

A three-day celebration

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. This religious festival is preceded by a day of fasting, called Arafat Day.

According to tradition, the faithful often prepare themselves with new or very beautiful clothes before going to the mosque for the great prayer of Eid-el-Adha. The head of the family is then responsible for killing the sacrificed animal by draining it of its blood, without knocking it out, then dividing the meat into three: for the family, for relatives, and for the poor.

100,000 sheep sacrificed in France

In France, around 100,000 sheep would be sacrificed during the three days of Eid al-Adha festivities, according to the Ministry of Agriculture.

The sacrificial act must be carried out by authorized sacrificers, in permanent or temporary slaughterhouses approved by the State, in compliance with regulations relating to food safety, health, animal protection and the protection of the environment. The faithful can also collect their mutton from the butcher.

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