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When is Eid al-Adha 2018 In Nigeria And What Is Hajj?

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This month month of August will mark Eid al-Adha, one of the most important festivals in the Islamic calendar. With traditions ranging from prayers, family gatherings and the exchanging of gifts, Eid al-Adha will see thousands of Muslims around the world celebrating.Despite also being known as ‘Eid,’ Eid al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan, which occurred this year in May and June. Here’s everything you need to know about Eid al-Adha: What is Eid al-Adha? Eid al-Adha, or ‘the festival of sacrifice,’ is considered the holier of the two Eids, and marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage (one of the five pillars of Islam). The festival remembers the story of Ibrahim’s sacrifice when Allah appeared to him in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son Isma’il as an act of obedience to God.As Abraham was about to kill his son, Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead. The story demonstrates Abraham’s dedication to surrendering to Allah and Muslims celebrate Eid as a reminder of their own commitment to God. How is Eid al-Fitr different from Eid al-Adha? Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, a period where Muslims fast during daylight hours. Eid al-Fitr is usually celebrated by paying zakat (giving to charity) and having a large meal with friends and family.When is Eid al-Adha? This year, Eid al-Adha is due to begin on 21 August and end on 25 August. However the exact day will depend on the sighting of the moon as the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle. The celebrations begin two days after the start of the Hajj. What is Hajj? Hajj is the annual Islamic pilgrimage to the Kaaba in Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Every year, around 2 million Muslims from around the world converge on Mecca, dressed in white clothes called Ihram, which signifies the bonds of Islamic brotherhood and sisterhood by demonstrating that everyone is equal in the eyes of Allah.How is Eid al-Adha celebrated and what does ‘Eid Mubarak’ mean? Eid celebrations usually start with Muslims going to the Mosque for prayers dressed in their best clothes and thanking Allah for all the blessings they have received. Many also choose to pray as part of community-led events in public places, such as parks, during the festival. Muslims greet each other by saying ‘Eid Mubarak’ – which means ‘blessed Eid’ – during the festival, which also involves visits to friends and family and the giving of gifts and cards. Sacrifice is a big part of the event, and worshippers will usually slaughter a sheep or goat to honour the Islamic date. The sacrificial meat is then divided into thirds and shared between friends, family and the poor. Money to charity can also be given to help the poor buy clothes and food.Photo Credit: Getty

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