Eid Al Adha in Saudi Arabia
Under Saudi Arabian law, Public sector holidays for Eid Al Adha begin on the fifth day of Dhu al-Hijjah and end at the end of the fifteenth day of the same month.
There may be some changes to the actual days depending how these dates fall on certain days of the week.
When is Eid al-Adha?
Known as Eid al-Adha, Eid ul Adha, Id-ul-Azha, Id-ul-Zuha, Hari Raya Haji, Greater Eid or Bakr-id; the ‘Feast of Sacrifice‘ is the most important feast of the Muslim calendar.
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.
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.