Eid al-Adha 2016 - When is it and how it is celebrated.
When is Eid al-Adha?
The timing of the celebration is dictated by the lunar cycle, so the festival falls on a different date every year, just as Easter does.
The day is set when a new moon is sighted – but there is no exact definition of what this means. There is little agreement within the faith about whether the moon must be spotted with the naked eye and whether it should be seen in the country where the celebrations are happening.
Saudi Arabia has been known to send up fighter jets to determine whether the new moon has arrived.
The result of the varying interpretations of the rule is that Greater Eid falls on a different day depending on what sect, mosque or region you are in.
Saudi Arabia’s Supreme Court announced on Friday it would celebrate the festival on the 12 September.
The US, Canada and the Islamic Society of North America all follow the Saudi calendar, as does the European Council of Fatwa and Research.
But in Pakistan and Bangladesh, the date is determined by local sightings of the moon. This year, the Asian countries will celebrate the Greater Eid on September 13.
How is Eid al-Adha celebrated?
For Muslims, the day begins with morning prayers, followed by the exchange of food and gifts with family and friends. Muslims are obliged to share their food and money with the poor so they too can take part in the celebrations.
Worshippers will slaughter an animal, such as a sheep or a goat. In Pakistan alone, nearly ten million animals are slaughtered on Eid. Anyone wishing to sacrifice an animal in the UK must conform to welfare standards so the animal is treated humanely.
The festival is traditionally four days long, but public holidays vary depending on the country.
Turkey, Qatar, the UAE, Kuwait and Oman will have nine-day breaks.Pakistan will observe a three-day break for Eid, while Bangladesh will have six days off.
Saudi Arabia has announced a 12-day holiday public holiday, which will include the days of the Hajj pilgrimage.
But low oil prices and government spending cuts are expected to dampen Eid celebrations there.
VERCIDA works with over one hundred clients who are committed to creating an inclusive work environment. If you are an employer and interested in working with VERCIDA to promote your diversity and inclusion initiatives and attract the best candidates, please call 02037405973 or email [email protected] for more information.
We are also officially recommended by Disability Confident as a step on achieving Employer status, please click here for more information.