In the Muslim and Arabic world there are a number of holidays which Arabs celebrate. But the two major holidays are Eid al Fitr and Eid Al Adha. Those holidays have deep religious and cultural roots behind them. They are always happily celebrated by all Arabs who are Muslims. The non-Muslims are usually invited by their friends to partake in those celebration.
Eid Al Fitr:
During Ramadan Muslims fast every day for hours and hours. After the end of the Holy month is Eid al Fitr which means the festival of fast breaking. But before Ramadan ends Muslims are required to donate a determined amount of donation to the poor. This donation is usually food so that the poor can partake in the celebration. On the day of the Eid Muslims gather early in the morning to perform the Eid prayer which consists of a sermon followed by a short congregational prayer. After the Eid prayer Muslims visit various family members and friends to give well-wishes to each other. They also usually give gifts to the children. They make phone calls to distant relatives to give them well-wishes too. These activities usually last for 3 days which is the length of the Eid. In Muslim majority countries those three days are also official government and school holidays. As you can see Eid al Fitr is all about connecting with your community, distant relatives, helping the poor and having a fun time.
Eid Al Adha:
Eid al Adha which is the more major celebration of the two is celebrated at the end of Hajj. Eid al Adha means Festival of Sacrifice it is celebrated to mark the occasion when Allah (God) appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, to demonstrate his devotion to the Almighty. Ibrahim was just about to sacrifice his son, ignoring the advice of the devil who tried to tempt him into disobeying God and sparing his son, when God intervened through his angel Jibra’il and was given a lamb to sacrifice instead. Today Eid al Adha is celebrated by the sacrifice of a sheep or a goat. Most of the meat is given away to others. The family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy. This sacrifice is in order to appreciate life more and help the poor using it’s meat.
Written by: Osama Waheib