Eid-Ul-Adha Around the World

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In Egypt, "Eid ul-Adha" has a greater significance than "Eid ul Fitr". The festival marks Prophet Ibraham's sacrifice of his son Ishmael before God. Pleased with this sacrifice, God replaced Abraham's son with a sheep and made the boy alive again. Apart from being a commemoration of this legendary incident, "Eid ul-Adha" also marks the end of the Hajj (the Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca) and thus, great importance is attached to the occassion. Referred to as "Eid el-Kbir" here, the festival is annually observed during the auspicious Islamic month of "Dhul Hijja". During the days of the celebration, Muslims across the country wake up and head to their local mosques for their "salah" (prayer). This is followed by a sermon after which, people meet up with their friends and dear ones and wish each other "kol sana wa inta tayeb". Roughly translated, this means "I hope every year finds you well". Feasts are a highly anticipated aspect of Eid ul-Adha, as of Eid ul Fitr. All over the country, poor people look forward to this occassion as this is a time they can beef and mutton, freely provided to them by the wealthy and also by various charitable organizations.

As in Egypt, Eid-ul-Adha is also known in Morocco as ''Eid el-Kbir''. The Moroccan celebration of Eid-ul-Adha is similar to its observances in other countries. As in elsewhere, animal sacrifices are carried out in Morocco as a dedication to the Lord. Generally a cow, sheep or a ram is slaughtered and its meat is then distributed among the poor people. The festive days have people visiting their nearest mosques for prayer services and sermons, following which people visit each other's homes and relish festive meals together. Like in other countries, Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated here as a three-day festival.

Here Eid-ul Adha ('Id-ul Adha) is also known as "Kurbanir Eid" or "Bakri Eid". The occassion is observed here as both a religious and a festal one. Almost a month before the festival, preparations for Eid-ul Adha begins in earnest and each day leading to the occassion has local sweet shops, gift centres and cloth stores readying themselves with stuff lapped up by millions across the country. "Qurbani" or animal sacrifice is considered here by many as a "sunnah" (an obligatory religious performance). The animals picked to be slaughtered must be of a particular age and should not have any impairment, or the sacrifice is to be considered an imperfect one. While cows, goats and buffaloes are generally chosen for the rite, camels are also specially imported by some Bangladeshis for this purpose. The time of sacrifice begins right after the "namaz" (prayer ceremony) of the first day of Eid-ul Adha and continues up to the sunset of the next two/three days.

In Pakistan, Eid ul-Adha is a four-day event celebrated every year on the 10th day of the Islamic lunar month of "Dhul Hajji" (27th or 28th November as per Gregorian calendar). The festive days witness most local business houses and shops being closed. The occasion begins with a short prayer followed by a sermon. Every Pakistani who can afford it, sacrifice an animal in honour of the Almighty, distributing its meat to friends, family and the poor.

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