Understanding Eid al Adha is essential to understanding Islamic tradition. This is one of only two Muslim holidays made official through the Quran. Eid Al Adha, as a major holiday, is a chance for Muslims to come together to celebrate their heritage. More importantly, Eid Al-Adha is a time to celebrate one particular incident in religious history.
Keeping tradition alive is one thing — truly celebrating it, is another. Below, Lashkaraa explains the history, story, and meaning of Eid, and how it fits into the Muslim holiday calendar.
Eid Al Adha vs. Eid Al-Fitr
Eid al Adha and Eid Al-Fitr have similar names but very different purposes.
Many times, when the holiday comes around, the two are called “Eid,” which can add to the potential confusion. The word “Eid” simply means festival, appropriate for the amount of feasting and joy surrounding these two.
These are two major Islamic festivals officially marked in the religion. The first is Eid Al-Fitr, which celebrates breaking the fast in the month of Ramadan. This festival lasts three days and is sometimes considered the more subtle one.
The more significant of the two is Eid Al-Adha, or the festival of sacrifice, which lasts for four days. Also known as the feast of sacrifice, this commemorates a specific religious event which we will explain shortly.
The calendar day for both these festivals seems to move over time. This is because they follow the Islamic lunar calendar rather than the Gregorian calendar. The lunar calendar is reliant on the moon, with a new month beginning with the sighting of the new moon. This changing day leads to such interesting coincidences as Ramadan, Easter, and Passover occurring simultaneously, as happened this year.
Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated following the month of Ramadan, on the first three days of Shawwal, the tenth month. Eid Al-Adha, also called Eid Ul-Adha, follows it on the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah, the final month of the year.
Eid: The Celebration
As they say in Arabic, Eid Mubarak! Or, as others may say more informally, “Blessed Festival!”
The first day of Eid Al-Adha celebrations begins with morning prayers. Once these Eid Prayers are concluded, it is customary to visit friends and families and swap food and other well-wishes.
Gift-giving on Eid is not specifically stated in any particular text. Given the festive atmosphere, many choose to give gifts during this time. The gifts often reflect the special relationships and identities of those involved: parents, spouses, children, or friends.
As befitting the festival of sacrifice, sacrifice plays an important role in the day's events. Qurbani occurs, or the ritualized sacrifice of animals, during this time.
Some follow the strict religious requirements for an animal to be deemed suitable for Qurbani. These boiled down to the animal in question being a healthy adult and slaughtered ethically in a relatively pain-free fashion. Many countries have further prohibitions ensuring ethical and pleasant practices during this time.
Charity also plays an essential part in the day's festivities. A portion of meat is to be set aside for the poor, and general donations are expected during this time.
The most significant of these observances in Saudi Arabia is that of hajj pilgrimage. As one of the pillars of Islam, hajj sees countless Muslims fulfill religious obligations by converging upon Mecca.
It must only be performed once in a lifetime, but as with many taxing observances, exceptions are made for some. This is especially the case as the current pandemic has seen the government of Saudi Arabia limit visitors. Attending an annual hajj may be difficult in the near future, but it will hopefully become more accessible soon.
What To Wear on Eid Al Adha
As with many special holidays, Eid is also an opportunity to wear your best clothes. Boldly patterned garments in a variety of styles help create wonderful kaleidoscopic celebrations. Modesty informs the apparel, making complex, layered garments the order of the day.
What Should Women Wear for Eid Al Adha?
For women, the options are far more extensive. A palazzo suit makes for a relatively modern and jaw-dropping piece. It becomes easy to pair it with a color-contrasting dupatta or accessories to bring out a bold spectrum of colors. This makes celebrating an Eid on the go easy to accomplish to stunning success.
Anarkali suits are also at the pinnacle of contemporary fashion. The anarkali itself is a centuries-old garment, but it looks modernized thanks to the reinvention of countless designers. A variety of lengths and drapes allows one to find one perfect for any degree of celebration.
We highly recommend our Marigold Multicolor Embroidered Georgette Anarkali, a luxurious piece that draws inspiration from fields of breathtaking marigolds. This outfit was specifically crafted for festive occasions. The entire look comes together with help from the crisscrossed floral motifs, embroidered lace lining, and ornate patterns.
Women can also accessorize during Eid Al Adha with traditional Indian jewelry. Radha necklaces, with their elaborate combinations of pearls of different shapes and sizes, look wonderful with palazzo and anarkali suits.
Don’t forget to have some fun with accessories. Try the hand-crafted Antique Polki Earrings for a beautiful addition to your Eid Al Adha attire.
What Should Men Wear for Eid Al Adha?
For men, traditional base attire includes kurta pajamas. This provides a comfortable, lightweight, and attractive combination on an invariably active day. A lavishly detailed kurta can operate well as a standalone garment. Simpler ones can easily be layered with jackets or vests for added patterns or warmth in cooler months.
Since complexity and layering are essential aspects of Eid attire, a suit is also an excellent option for a man during the celebration. Layering multiple colors and patterns to create a mix of sophistication and personal expression is a perfect approach to the holiday.
We recommend pairing our white Pathani Suit Set and Floral Waistcoat during the Eid Al Adha celebration.
This combination features a black rayon cowl on the kurt, silk pajamas, and a vibrant patterned floral waistcoat. The teal, pink, red, and orange tones of the waistcoat are festive and expressive, while the timeless white Pathani suit ties everything together.
As another option, men can also wear vibrant sherwanis during Eid Al Adha. The traditional Indian tunic is one of the quintessential pieces that every man should have in his wardrobe, and it elevates your Eid Al Adha apparel instantly.
We recommend our Teal Embroidered Silk Sherwani, which features sequin accents, gold buttons, and a stylish pocket square as an accent. Our Multicolor Blue Printed Sherwani is another excellent choice. Covered in an elegant pattern and embellished with gold buttons, it’s one of the many stylish pieces in our sherwani collection.
What Should Kids Wear for Eid Al Adha?
During Eid Al Adha, kids can be just as stylish and festive as adults. Like grown-ups, kids can dress for the occasion by wearing Kurta pajamas in various colors and patterns.
Our Deep Maroon Kurta Pajama Set features a dual-color diamond pattern and two tones of rich red. The collar and sleeves are embellished with traditional designs for added flair.
Young girls can also dress for Eid Al Adha in traditional Lehengas. These flowy skirts are often covered in eye-catching colors and designs — like our Kids’ Red and Pink Printed Satin Lehenga. Soft, comfortable, and stylish, this Lehenga features floral patterns, stripes, and a chiffon dupatta as an accessory.
In addition, kids and parents can celebrate Eid Al Adha together with matching silk Kurta pajamas. Our Light Green Embroidered Silk Kurta Set has a matching adults’ set, which is perfect for fathers and sons to wear together. The set includes a silk kurta, cotton pants, and a wide array of sequins and patterned embellishments.
For the youngest kids in your family, we recommend a kurta pyjama set with a vest. Our Ruby Kurta Set with a Velvet Afghan Vest is both festive and timeless, and it’s an easy outfit to match with your own. If a father wants to match with their son for Eid Al Adha, try the matching identical Ruby Kurta Set that lets everyone know your family is a strong unit.
Eid al-Adha, as with many religious traditions, has a history dating back thousands of years that we add to presently. It’s a time to remember the sacrifice and the faith and trust it takes to do what needs to be done.
It’s also a time to appreciate the family we have and where we have come from. As the physical distance from family may grow over time, emotional distance doesn’t have to. After all, Eid Al-Adha isn’t a solitary holiday in the slightest — it’s best spent with friends, family members, and anyone else you love and cherish, either in person or from afar.
With Lashkaraa, you can be certain that while the location may change, your culture will always be close.
Weekend Marks Rare Intersection of Easter, Passover, and Ramadan I The Week
Eid Al-Adha 2014: History and Facts about the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice I IBT
What is Eid? What is the difference between Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha? | CBBC Newsround