Feast of the Sacrifice, or Eid al-Adha is an Islamic holiday celebrated 70 days after the feast of Eid al-Fitr, the end of the Hajj. It is one of the two biggest Muslim holidays.

Feast of the Sacrifice is the culmination of the Hajj to Mecca. On the feast eve, the pilgrims ascend the Mount Arafat, and on the sacrifice day they have a symbolic throwing of stones and tawaf (a circular seven-time walkaround the Kaaba).

The origins of the feast are described in the Qur'an, according to which the angel Jibreel came to the Prophet Ibrahim in a dream and told him a commandment from Allah to sacrifice his son. The son’s name is not mentioned in the Qur'an, but the lore often tells about the eldest son Ismail. In contrast to the Islamic lore, the Jewish one tells of another Prophet’s son Ishaq. Ibrahim went to the valley of Mina to the venue and began preparations; now the Mecca stands on this site. His son, who knew about the sacrifice, did not resist because he was obedient to the Father and Allah. However, it was a test from Allah who did not let a knife cut the boy. The son sacrifice has been replaced by a sheep.

Following the prayer in the mosque, Muslims go to their families, and the ritual of sacrifice begins. A sheep is sacrificed most commonly, but it can be a cow or a camel as well. The offering must be over six months, it must be healthy and have no defects. Next, the meat is cooked and eaten for the common meal. Overall, as many other Muslim holidays, Eid al-Adha is celebrated with a large-scale feast and a variety of different dishes.

At the Feast of Sacrifice, people must share the meat with the poor, the sick and those in need. Close friends and relatives try to give presents to each other during the holiday. In the following days of celebration people usually visit their family and friends.
In Muslim countries, Eid al-Adha is an official festive day.

Photo: Internet