Monday, December 08, 2008

Eid Mubarak - Eid Al Adha 2008

Today is the beginning of Eid Al Adha, the Islamic feast (Eid). I would like to wish all my Muslim brothers and sisters an Eid Mubarak!

Here's a great website that gives lots of fun information on the Eid:
The Holiday Spot Website for Eid Al Adha

From Wikipedia's entry on Eid Al-Adha:

Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى ‘Īd ul-’Aḍḥā) or the Festival of Sacrifice is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims and Druze worldwide in commemoration of the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey God and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God intervened and instead provided a lamb as the sacrifice. This is why today all over the world Muslims who have the means to, sacrifice an animal (usually a goat or a sheep), as a reminder of Ibrahim's obedience to God. The meat is then shared out with family, friends (Muslims or non-Muslims), as well as the poor members of the community. (Islam names Ishmael as the son who was to be sacrificed, whereas the Judeo-Christian name Isaac).

Eid al-Adha occurs the day after the pilgrims conducting Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat.

I encourage you to read more about Eid Al Adha (at the link provided above). It's a fascinating event.

The Haj, is also very interesting. Here is a bit of information about Haj from the Wikipedia Website:

The Hajj (Arabic: حج‎) is a pilgrimage to Mecca (Makkah). It is the largest annual pilgrimage in the world.[1] It is the fifth pillar of Islam, an obligation that must be carried out at least once in their lifetime by every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so. It is a demonstration of the solidarity of the Muslim people, and their submission to Allah.

The feast includes 2-3 days of visiting friends and relatives, eating amazing food and feeding the poor. It is a festive time of joy and celebration. Children are given a new, fancy outfit for the Eid as part of the custom/tradition. Selecting these outfits can be a major project of great importance!

One of the wonderful traditions is the baking of mamul - semolina cookies filled with dates. Arab Muslims make them for their two festivals/feasts each year: Eid Al Adha (today's holiday) and Eid Al Fitr, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. Here is a photo of mamul cookies that I made with my family last year:

Eid cookies

Happy Eid to us all!

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