One of the most important Islamic holidays has two names: Turkic - Kurban Bayram, and Arabic - Eid al-Adha.
Both names are translated as the “festival of sacrifice” or the “festival of sacrificial offering” revealing the main idea of the holiday.
The Muslims call everything that approaches a person to God Kurban; while the ritual slaughter of an animal means the spiritual conversion to God.
The history of the origin of Eid al-Adha
Eid al-Adha is the holiday in commemoration of providential escape from the death of the son of Prophet Ibrahim.
Angel Jibreel (Gabriel) came to Ibrahim in his sleep and passed the decree of Allah to sacrifice his eldest son.
Faithful Ibrahim was ready to abide by the will of Allah and went to Mina Valley, where Mecca is situated, and started the preparation. His son was obedient to the father and Allah and did not oppose; however, he continued to pray.
Finally, it turned out to be an ordeal. When Ibrahim was ready to sacrifice his son, Allah saw the fear of the god of the prophet, deigned and turned the edge of the sacrificial knife.
A young man was replaced by a sacrificial animal and it started the key tradition of Eid al-Adha.
Sacrificial sheep, cows, goats, buffalo, or camels symbolize the sacrificial animal that replaced the son of Ibrahim.
Islam, as well as Judaism and Christianity, belong to the Abrahamic religions.
The Abrahamic religions – are a group of monotheistic religions originating from the ancient tradition of worship of the God of Abraham. All Abrahamic religions recognize the Holy Scripture that includes the Pentateuch.
Thus, the history of salvation of the son of the prophet is described in all three religions.
However, there are some differences. In Islam, the eldest son of Prophet Ibrahim is Ismayil, who became the ancestor of the Arabs.
In Judaism, the eldest son of Abraham is Isaac, who became the ancestor of the Jews.
When Eid al-Adha is celebrated
The holiday does not have a particular date. The issue is in the Muslim calendar. It consists of 12 lunar months and has about 354 days, less than usual solar year.
That is why the days of the Islamic holidays change every year.
Eid al-Adha starts from the 10th day of the 12th month of the Muslim lunar calendar and last a few days.
It is celebrated 70 days after another important holiday – Eid al-Fitr. The holiday also marks the end of hadj – the pilgrimage to Mecca.
In Islamic countries, it is the official holiday.
How Eid al-Adha is celebrated
During the celebration, the Muslims have to hold the Ghusl and wear clean and festival dress.
They say festive Takbir (magnification of God with words Allāhu ʾakbar). It is repeated during the morning walk to the mosque.
In the mosque, the feast prayer is held after which the Khutbah is served.
The main element of the holiday is sacrifice.
Peculiarities of the sacrifice
Sheep, cow, goat, buffalo, or camel can be chosen (mostly sheep). The sacrifice should be at least six months old, healthy and it should not have defects.
If possible, it is better to sacrifice one sheep or goat per person or cow (camel) per seven people.
Moreover, it is possible to sacrifice one sheep (goat) per family.
Before the sacrifice, the animal is put on the ground and its head should lay in the direction of Mecca.
The meat is divided into three parts: one is left for the family, the second for relatives, and the third for poor people.
The skin of sacrificed animals is given to the mosque.
People try to make presents to close people and relatives during Eid al-Adha. Besides, people try to visit relatives and close people as visit considers to be blessed and desirable.