Eid al-Adha ( ‘Īdu l-’Aḍḥā) "Festival of Sacrifice" or "Greater Bairam" is a religious festival celebrated by Muslims (including the Druze) worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God. However, God provided a ram in place once Ibrahim demonstrated his willingness to follow God's commands.

Eid al-Adha is the latter of two Eid festivals celebrated by Muslims, whose basis comes from the Quran. (Muslims in Iran celebrate a third, non-denominational Eid.) Like Eid, Eid al-Adha begins with a short prayer followed by a sermon (khuṭba).

Eid al-Adha annually falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhul Hijja () of the lunar Islamic calendar. The festivities last for three days or more depending on the country. Eid al-Adha occurs the day after the pilgrims conducting Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat. It happens to be approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.

Other namesEdit

Eid-al-Adha has other popular names across the Muslim world. The name is often simply translated into the local language, such as English Festival of Sacrifice, German Opferfest, Dutch Offerfeest, and Hungarian Áldozati ünnep.

The Arabic term "Festival of Sacrifice", ‘Īd ul-’Aḍḥā was borrowed as a unit into Indic languages such as Hindi, Urdu, Gujarati and Bengali and Austronesian languages such as Malay and Indonesian.

Another Arabic word for "sacrifice", ( qurbān), was borrowed into Dari Persian and Farsi Persian as Eyde Ghorbân (), into Tajik Persian as Иди Қурбон Idi Qurbon, into Kazakh as Құрбан айт (Qurban ayt), into Uyghur as Qurban Heyit, and also into various Indic languages. Other languages combined the Arabic word qurbān with local terms for "festival", as in Kurdish (Cejna Qurbanê ), Pashto (Kurbaneyy Akhtar), Chinese ( Gúěrbāng Jié), Malay and Indonesian (Hari Raya Korban, Qurbani), and Turkish ('). The Turkish term was then later borrowed into languages such as Azeri (Qurban Bayramı), Tatar (Qorban Bäyräme), Albanian and several Slavic languages (Kurban Bajram/Курбан бајрам/Курбан байрам).

Another Arabic name, ‘Īd ul-Kabīr, meaning "Greater Eid/Festival", is used in Yemen, Syria, and North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt). The term was borrowed directly into French as Aïd el-Kebir. Translations of "Big Eid" or "Greater Eid" are used in Pashto لوی اختر Loy Akhtar, Kashmiri Baed Eid, Hindi and Urdu Baṛā Īd, Malayalam Waliya Perunnal, and Tamil Peru Nāl.

Another name refers to the fact that the holiday occurs after the culmination of the Hajj (حج), or pilgrimage to Makkah. Such names are used in Malay and Indonesian (Hari Raya Haji "Hajj celebration day", Lebaran Haji), and in Tamil Hajji Peru Nāl.

In Hindi- and Urdu-speaking areas, the festival is also called بقرعید Baqra Īd or Baqrī Īd, stemming either from the Arabic baqarah "heifer" or the Urdu word baqrī for "goat", as cows and goats are among the traditionally-sacrificed animals. That term was also borrowed into other languages, such as Tamil Bakr Eid Peru Nāl.

Other local names include 宰牲节 Zǎishēng Jié ("Slaughter-livestock Festival") in Chinese, Tfaska Tamoqqart in the Berber language of Jerba, Tabaski or Tobaski in West African languages , Babbar Sallah in Nigerian languages, and Ciidwayneey in Somali.


Four thousand years ago the valley of Mecca was a dry and uninhabited place. Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) was instructed to bring his wife Hagar (Hajira) and their child Ismael to Arabia from Palestine by Allah's command, as his first wife Sarah started to get jealous after Hagar got her baby.

With some supplies of food and water he left them without wanting, his wife Hagar asked him: "Who ordered you to leave us here", Ibrahim replied :"Allah", she said: "than Allah will not forget us, you can go". However the supplies quickly ran out and within a few days Hagar and Ismael were suffering from hunger and dehydration.

In her desperation Hagar ran up and down two hills called Safa and Marwa trying to see if she could spot any help in the distance. Finally she collapsed beside her baby Ismael and prayed to Allah for deliverance.

Ismael struck his foot on the ground and this caused a spring of water to gush forth from the earth. Hagar and Ismael were saved. Now they had a secure water supply they were able to trade water with passing nomads for food and supplies.

After a while the Prophet Ibrahim returned from Palestine to check on his family and he was amazed to see them running a profitable well.

The Prophet Ibrahim was told by Allah to build a shrine dedicated to him. Ibrahim and Ismael constructed a small stone structure – the Kaaba - which was to be the gathering place for all who wished to strengthen their faith in Allah.

As the years passed Ismael was blessed with Prophethood and he gave the nomads of the desert the message of surrender to Allah.

After many centuries, Mecca became a thriving city thanks to its reliable water source, the well of Zam Zam.

In the year 628 the Prophet Muhammad set out on a journey with 1400 of his followers. This was the first pilgrimage in Islam, and would re-establish the religious traditions of the Prophet Ibrahim.

Traditions and practicesEdit

Men, women, and children are expected to dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid (ṣalātu l-`Īdi) in any mosque. Muslims who can afford to do so sacrifice their best domestic animals (usually sheep, but also camels, cows and goats) as a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice. The sacrificed animals, called uḍiyyah (, also known as "al-qurbāni"), have to meet certain age and quality standards or else the animal is considered an unacceptable sacrifice. Generally, these must be at least a year old.

At the time of sacrifice, God's name is recited along with the offering statement and a supplication as Muhammad said. According to the Quran, the meat is divided into three shares, one share for the poor, one share for the relatives and neighbors and the last to keep to oneself. A large portion of the meat must be given towards the poor and hungry people so they can all join in the feast which is held on Eid al-Adha. The remainder is cooked for the family celebration meal in which relatives and friends are invited to share.

The regular charitable practices of the Muslim community are demonstrated during Eid al-Adha by the concerted effort to see that no impoverished person is left without sacrificial food during these days.

Distributing meat among people is considered an essential part of the festival during this period, as well as chanting Takbir out loud before the Eid prayer on the first day and after prayers through out the four days of Eid. (See Takbir in "Traditions and practices" of Eid.) In some countries families that do not own livestock can make a contribution to a charity that will provide meat to those who are in need.


Distribution of meat of a traditionally sacrificed animal to the poor all over the world

Eid al-Adha in the Gregorian calendarEdit

While Eid al-Adha is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. The Lunar calendar is approximately eleven days shorter than the Solar calendar. Each year, Eid al-Adha (like other Islamic holidays) falls on one of two different Gregorian dates in different parts of the world, due to the fact that the boundary of crescent visibility is different from the International date line.

The following list shows the official dates of Eid al-Adha for Saudi Arabia as announced by the Supreme Judicial Council. Future dates are calculated according to the Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia. The three days after the listed date are also part of the festival. The time before the listed date the pilgrims visit the Mount Arafat and descend from it after sunrise of the listed day. Future dates of Eid al-Adha might face correction 10 days before the festivity, in case of deviant lunar sighting in Saudi Arabia for the start of the month Dhul Hijja.

  • 1400 (Islamic Calendar): October 17, 1980
  • 1401 (Islamic Calendar): October 6, 1981
  • 1402 (Islamic Calendar): September 26, 1982
  • 1403 (Islamic Calendar): September 15, 1983
  • 1404 (Islamic Calendar): September 4, 1984
  • 1405 (Islamic Calendar): August 24, 1985
  • 1406 (Islamic Calendar): August 14, 1986
  • 1407 (Islamic Calendar): August 3, 1987
  • 1408 (Islamic Calendar): July 23, 1988
  • 1409 (Islamic Calendar): July 12, 1989
  • 1410 (Islamic Calendar): July 2, 1990
  • 1411 (Islamic Calendar): June 21, 1991
  • 1412 (Islamic Calendar): June 10, 1992
  • 1413 (Islamic Calendar): May 30, 1993
  • 1414 (Islamic Calendar): May 20, 1994
  • 1415 (Islamic Calendar): May 9, 1995
  • 1416 (Islamic Calendar): April 28, 1996
  • 1417 (Islamic Calendar): April 17, 1997
  • 1418 (Islamic Calendar): April 7, 1998
  • 1419 (Islamic Calendar): March 27, 1999
  • 1420 (Islamic Calendar): March 16, 2000
  • 1421 (Islamic Calendar): March 5, 2001
  • 1422 (Islamic Calendar): February 22, 2002
  • 1423 (Islamic Calendar): February 1, 2003
  • 1424 (Islamic Calendar): February 1, 2004
  • 1425 (Islamic Calendar): January 20, 2005 announced - calculated date: January 21, 2005
  • 1426 (Islamic Calendar): January 10, 2006
  • 1427 (Islamic Calendar): December 30, 2006 announced - calculated date: December 31, 2006
  • 1428 (Islamic Calendar): December 19, 2007 announced - calculated date: December 20, 2007
  • 1429 (Islamic Calendar): December 8, 2008 announced - calculated date: same
  • 1430 (Islamic Calendar): November 27, 2009 (calculated)
  • 1431 (Islamic Calendar): November 16, 2010 (calculated)
  • 1432 (Islamic Calendar): November 6, 2011 (calculated)
  • 1433 (Islamic Calendar): October 26, 2012 (calculated)
  • 1434 (Islamic Calendar): October 15, 2013 (calculated)
  • 1435 (Islamic Calendar): October 4, 2014 (calculated)
  • 1436 (Islamic Calendar): September 23, 2015 (calculated)
  • 1437 (Islamic Calendar): September 11, 2016 (calculated)
  • 1438 (Islamic Calendar): September 1, 2017 (calculated)
  • 1439 (Islamic Calendar): August 21, 2018 (calculated)
  • 1440 (Islamic Calendar): August 11, 2019 (calculated)
  • 1441 (Islamic Calendar): July 31, 2020 (calculated)
  • 1442 (Islamic Calendar): July 23, 2021 (calculated)


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