October 26, 2012 is an important day to all Muslim followers since it marks an important feast for them which is the Eid al-Adha 2012. The celebration will actually begins when sunset of Thursday of October 25 wave off. It’s true that this event falls on different dates yearly since they follow the movements of the Gregorian calendar and of course the lunar or Islamic calendar. Moreover, the celebration of it also varies from one country to another, so there is no set date for a simultaneous celebration. In fact, next year, this feast will fall on October 15, 2012, but then again, the actual commemoration happens on the sunset of Monday of October 14. It is also known as Greater Eid or Feast of the Sacrifice. This is also one of the two important festivities that Muslims solemnize because it’s very close to their traditions, and customs. Everyone is aware that there are different religious practices that Muslim observes, and they treat all of them divine, and sacred to them. In fact, it’s one of the ceremonies that they regard so much because of the united efforts that they are giving in different parts of the world in order to pave the way to this once a year event. In order to comprehend and understand this day, here are the top 10 facts about Eid al-Adha 2012.
All Muslims around the world are making an effort to visit Mecca, and join millions of their brothers and sisters to commemorate the Sacrifice of Festival or Abraham willingness and faith to offer his very own son to God. Hence, an annual pilgrimage is being held and followed which is held in Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Everyone makes an effort if their time and financial resources permit to participate and give respect to this very sacred festive. Different Muslims in different countries across the globe are travelling not just to see the Mecca, but to be united in this yearly celebration. This is the culminating part of their Jewish traditions that everyone religiously observes and keeps.
Since it’s all about the sacrifice made by Abraham, Muslim people in different parts of the world also offer an animal sacrifice which literally done by people under the Mosaic Law. Canonically, sheep is the closest thing that they can give since it’s an example in most of the scriptural account which was set early on. Nonetheless, today, there are different animals that they can sacrifice like lamb and goat in order to reciprocate the sacrifice for Ibrahim. The meat of these animals will be shared together by members of the family, within the community, and even those tourists who are curious about this tradition are welcome to join the feast by eating this meat of sacrifice. This is the same reason why lambs and other similar animals that can be offered that day are sold in hefty amount, and it’s really in demand in the market since it’s a universal celebration to all Muslims. It also signifies the kind of sacrifice that the people are willing to give which is reciprocated best on the kind of animals that they are willing to offer even its costly or expensive. This is one of the tests for them since it’s a measurement on how they are willing to sacrifice something to their god.
It’s part of the tradition before sacrificing specific animal which is required by their law that they recite tusmiya in order to keep it in good health and meeting specific age. Part of this ritual when recitation is done, that the Islamic Standards are met especially the meat that will be offered as part of the highlight of the offering which must be considered or qualified as halal. There are specific incisions and cut that must be followed, and not just do it your way, and these parts are neck, jugular veins, and lastly the carotid arteries.
Generally speaking the celebration of Eid al-Adha takes between 2 to 4 days, and it also varies based on locations in the world. It is true that there are series of events, and activities that being done including rituals and ceremonies since day 1, since this is one event that unite the Islam believers in whichever countries they reside. Nonetheless, the standard days that it’s being observed is two days which represents the new moon is born which signifies day one of celebration and the young crescent only if visible.
Under the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha is being commemorated every 10th, 11th, and 12th day which falls automatically on the 12th month under the Islamic month known as Dhu al-Hijjah which is actually part of the Islamic or Lunar Calendar. It will only be observed after the pilgrimage in Mecca has been done by Muslims all over the world. Hence, there are different rituals that they also observe until they arrive at the last sunset of Dhu al-Hijjah on the 12th day. Dhu al-Hijjah is actually the 12th month under the Islamic Calendar which also means it’s the end of the year, which is also the same month where pilgrimage takes place. This month also means Possessor of the Pilgrimage where people are invited to prepare to really pay a visit to Mecca, and be part of the worldwide celebration.
All the activities and rituals being done by Muslims across the globe are all based on what Sunnah has set which they believed are rules given by their beloved Prophet Muhammad. Some of the things that they do at the start of the first day of the celebration is for them to wake-up early in the morning and the closing of the dawn offer a prayer called Salat ul-Fajr. Prior to their attendance to special congregations where Salaat al-Eid prayer will be done, they have to do the basic hygiene and they have to put on perfume to their body. Included on this are their charitable works, recitation of takbir and other things which are in harmony on what can be read on Sunnah.
It might be a day of sacrifice, but it’s also a joyous day for all Muslims because they can be with their families, and others of their faith within the community. In fact, it is indeed a Thanksgiving Day version for them where they make a spiritual reflection on the first day prior on the second day or the day of celebration itself. It’s a very special day where they can express their gratitude on blessings that come to their life, strength that they receive, and good health. It’s spiritual reaffirm as well through fasting and numbers of personal and congregational prayers. This day is also called as feasting day where they prepare food especially sweet delicacies, give gifts to each other, decorating homes, wearing of new clothes, and gathering as families and friends at home where they can share the food that they have prepared. It’s indeed a very special holiday for them, just like Christmas and New Year in Roman Catholicism.
Just like any other religions in the world, there are also other members in some countries who also preserve, observes, and keeps the celebration of Eid al-Adha. Just for the information of everyone, it is an Islamic holiday that tells that Ramadan or fasting month has ended. Nonetheless, there are different countries that celebrate this day in different ways, but also observe the traditional rules and customs across the globe that Islam has set. In the continent of Africa, it’s being observed mainly in Egypt, Nigeria, Somalia, South Africa, and Tunisia. Hence, in the continent of Asia, it’s widely observed in Afghanistan, Burma/Myanmar, China, The Indian Subcontinent, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, South-East Asia, and Turkey. Other countries that also observe Eid al-Adha are Australia, Canada, Fiji, Mauritius, United Kingdom, and United States of America. Each country has set days where they observe it, wherein the one of the longest celebrations are done in Tunisia that runs up to 4 days.
It is also known as moon sightings which actually differ on the locations of the Islamic members. In fact, it could only be included in their celebration only after a declaration has been made by the moon-sighting committee that they have indeed seen a new moon. This committee is found residing in Saudi Arabia and they are part of the Saudi Judicial Council. In fact, one of a great instance that moon was not sighted happened on November 2008. Nonetheless, there is also limitation which also depends on the country or location. It does not mean that if the moon is not seen in Saudi Arabia that this regional custom will not be observed. If its sightable in Australia, then it could be done.
It is also known in other names like Eid al-Kabir or Eid al-Qurban, in India, it’s called as Id-ul-Zuha or Bakri-ld. It has different translation as well in different languages since Eid al-Adha is actually an Arabic word while in Tajik Persian it’s translated as Idi Qurbon, in Kazakh Qurban ayt, in Uyghur Qurban Heyit and Id ul-Kabir as another term in Saudi Arabia. In French Beig Eid, in Tamil Peru Nal, in Pashto Loy Akhtar and of course the most popular term of it is the Festival of Sacrifice which is being used by all Muslims all over the world.