When is Eid al-Adha?
Known as Eid al-Adha, Eid ul Adha, Id-ul-Azha, Id-ul-Zuha, Hari Raya Haji or Bakr-id; the ‘Feast of Sacrifice is the most important feast of the Muslim calendar.
The festival may also be known as Al Eid Al Kabeer, which means the ‘Grand Eid’. It has this more important status as in religious terms as this Eid lasts for four days whereas Eid Al Fitr is one day, even though most countries observe about the same number of public holidays for both Eids.
This festival is celebrated throughout the Muslim world as a commemoration of Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice everything for God.
Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth and final month in the Islamic calendar.
As the exact day is based on lunar sightings, the date may vary between countries.
Traditions of Eid Al Adha
Eid al-Adha concludes the Pilgrimage to Mecca. Eid al-Adha lasts for three days and commemorates Ibrahim’s (Abraham) willingness to obey God by sacrificing his son.
The same story appears in the Bible and is familiar to Jews and Christians. One key difference is that Muslims believe the son was Ishmael rather than Isaac as told in the Old Testament. Eid Al Lahma, which means the ‘meat Eid’
According to the Quran, Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son when a voice from heaven stopped him and allowed him to make something else as a ‘great sacrifice’. In the Old Testament, it is a ram that is sacrificed instead of the son.
In Islam, Ishmael is regarded as a prophet and an ancestor of Muhammad.
During the feast of Eid Al Adha, Muslims re-enact Ibrahim’s obedience by sacrificing a cow or ram. The family will eat about a third of the meal a third goes to friends and relatives, and the remaining third is donated to the poor and needy.
The giving of charity in the form of money, food or clothes to the homeless or poor is another key tradition of Eid al Adha.
Eid-el-Kibr Traditions in Egypt
Known as ‘Eid-el-Kibr’ in Egypt, the occasion is endowed with a greater significance than the festival of Eid ul-Fitr.
Did you know?
In Egypt, the festival is often called Eid Al Lahma, which means the ‘meat Eid’.
The day begins largely traditional, with prayers and a sermon followed by a large family gathering. People meet with their friends and loved ones, wishing one another ‘kol sana wa inta tayeb’, which translates to ‘I hope every year finds you well’.
In order to honour Prophet Ibrahim, ‘Qurbani’ meat is donated with great generosity and those who are wealthy along with many charitable organisations will give meat and other foodstuffs to families who are hungry. The entire country including the poor and needy look forward to this time when they can receive nutritious meat.
How Egyptians Celebrate Eid Al Adha?
Eid-Al-Adha or as Egyptians may call it Grand Eid is a Muslim festivity that is celebrated every year to honor God’s prophet Ibrahim’s sacrifice of his beloved son as holy obedience to God’s command.
On the first day of Eid-Al-Adha, Egyptian Muslims attend Eid prayers at several mosques across the country.
In Egypt, these are held straight after the Fajr Morning Prayer and from 07:00 onwards.
It’s a tradition to wear new clothes and on the way to the mosque, eat something sour such as lupine, and recite a small prayer called a ‘Takbeer’.
Eid is also a time when Egyptian Muslims are encouraged to give to charity, strengthen their relationship with God, and show kindness and patience.
On this occasion, Egyptians enjoy large meals with friends and family, and exchange money and gifts.
Since Eid-Al-Adha is almost around the corner, it’s time to start preparing for the feast. The feast must incorporate the traditional Egyptian Eid dishes like the renowned Fata.
Here’s a list of traditional dishes which will give a quick Eid food tour.
The Fata is layered with rice, crispy bread, and succulent mutton or cows’ meat pieces. It’s then topped with fried garlic in tomato sauce which just adds the extra punch to it.
Ultimately, this main dish is mostly enjoyed on special occasions like Eid.
In fact, authentic Egyptian barbeque meals are is always needed to kick start a party. What’s better than having kebabs, right? Egyptian Kebabs are the ultimate mouth-watering kebabs with the stuffing of mutton, onions, chilies, and loads of spices.
The preparation of the Kebabs does take time but it’s completely worth it.
Also, it makes a great snack recipe alongside Tea. These delicious kebabs are a famous Arabian non-vegetarian meal that goes well with a festival like Eid.
kebda is a simple recipe that has liver pieces of lamb or cow coated with a marinade and then further cooked on a pan.
If the Egyptian women are busy with the night feat preparation, kebda would be a great option for the family breakfast. It’s wholesome and makes a great meal when served alongside hot meat soup.
Thus, Kebda, or liver, is a popular breakfast dish prepared with various herbs and spices.
Eid Al Adha Feast In Egypt
Eid al-Adha means “the Festival of the Sacrifice,” and is a major festival in the Islamic year. It is celebrated at the end of the Hajj, which is the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. Eid al-Adha is celebrated by Muslims all across the globe including in Egypt.
The event honors the trial and triumph of the Prophet Abraham. One of the main trials was when he was commanded by Allah (God) to kill his son. After hearing this command, Abraham got ready to do God demanded. When he was just about to complete the action, Allah revealed that the sacrifice had already been given by Abraham’s faith. Abraham proved that love for the Almighty was everything for Abraham, since he had been wiling to lay down his life and life of his loved ones if God said so.
When celebrating Eid al-Adha, Muslims honor and remember the trials of Abraham and his love for God and thus slaughter an animal like a camel, sheep or goat. The meat obtained from this sacrifice is distributed to others especially those in need and only one-third of the portion is kept by the family. The sacrifice denotes the willingness of people to give away things that are close to heart to follow the commands of Allah above all else. Also, it signifies helping the needy and sharing with those who are in need, which is one of the main pillars of Islam.
Like any other celebration in Egypt, Eid al- Adha is marked with a special meal, which is all about the meat. On this day, Egyptians eat meat for breakfast in the form of meat cubes or stir-fried liver. This is accompanied by Fatta, which is rice toasted with tomato sauce and bread chips.
Meat is also eaten at lunch and dinner. If breakfast is missed then meat cubes and Fatta are eaten obligatorily for lunch. Other Egyptian dishes which can accompany the main ones are Ro’a’ which is crispy dough. It looks like a pie and is filled with minced meat. Another option are the famous lamb cutlets.
Socialization is an important thing for every society to promote mutual understanding and harmony between all. A healthy and sound social life can be obtained if people learn to live in a cohesive bond together. The gatherings on this day of the festival are an effective way of bringing together these emotions. Eid al-Adha is a festival that helps in fostering harmony and sanctity among people while conveying a good message to all. One of the best things associated with this event is that on this day families and friends come together who may have never got time during the entire year previously.
Eid al-Adha in Egypt is a time of family reunion, wearing new clothes and helping others. It is all about bringing people together, helping those in need and sharing a spirit of love for God with everyone around you.