When is Eid al-Adha, and what is the celebration about?

Tyler Mitchell By Tyler Mitchell Jun3,2024
Millions of Muslims will mark what’s known as the “Feast of Sacrifice” or this weekend.

The four-day celebration will start this Sunday 16 June, and Eid prayers will be held in mosques across the country.

What to know about Eid al-Adha

Eid means “feast” or “festival” and Muslims celebrate two Eids every year.
The Eid following Ramadan is called (the festival of breaking the fast) and runs over three days, while Eid al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice) is celebrated for four days.
The rituals preceding Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha differ.

Eid al-Fitr is celebrated to mark the end of the holy month of Ramadan where Muslims abstain from eating and drinking from sunrise to sunset.

Eid al-Adha is one of Islam’s most significant festivals and is celebrated after Muslims partake in Hajj — the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Every Muslim is expected to make this pilgrimage at least once in their lives if they have the financial means and are physically able to undertake the holy journey.

Muslim worshippers circumambulate the Kaaba

Muslims fulfil the Hajj pilgrimage in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. Source: Getty / Anadolu Agency

Why do you sacrifice animals?

During Eid al-Adha, Muslims are generally required to sacrifice either a sheep, lamb, goat, cow, bull or camel. The meat is then split into three portions: one for the family, one for relatives and friends, and one distributed among the poor and disadvantaged.
This practice is called “Qurbani” or “Qurban” and does not apply during Eid al-Fitr.
It commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismail, as commanded by God.
An Imam of the Elsedeaq Heidelberg Mosque in Melbourne, Alaa Elzokm OAM, said both Eids were equally important.

“So, these two big occasions are what we celebrate as Muslims around the world. And Muslims around the world are recommended to celebrate the blessings of God upon them and also celebrate fulfilling the acts of worship that they have done,” Imam Elzokm said.

What will happen?

On Sunday, 16 June, Muslimas will mark Eid al-Adha with congregational prayers in large mosques.

Muslims in Australia and other Western countries, who cannot sacrifice the animals themselves, pay charity organisations to facilitate the Qurban in several places, including Gaza and other Palestinian territories.

Is there anything different about the occasion this year?

While people usually gather with families to observe the occasion, community celebrations may be limited this year due to the Gaza war.
Afghanistan, a majority Muslim country, is experiencing a financial crisis after the economy essentially collapsed following the takeover by the Taliban in 2021. Many families are donating to relatives in Afghanistan this year during Eid al-Adha.
Founder of Helping Needy Afghans, Khalid Janbaz, said despite the cost-of-living challenges, many Afghan Australians were sending donations back to Afghanistan for family members to buy Eid clothes and groceries.

“A lot of people back home, they don’t have any jobs — and if they have jobs, they’re not getting enough pay. So, all the families living overseas, they’re trying to help their families and friends so they can celebrate Eid with their families as well,” he said.

A camel in a cattle pen

Livestock prices have soared and people are unable to buy animals for sacrifice ahead of Eid al-Adha amid the ongoing Hamas-Israel war. Source: AFP / Bashar Taleb

Janbaz added that many Australian Afghans also wanted to donate to help those impacted by the recent floods in Afghanistan that killed more than 300 people and destroyed at least 1,000 homes.

As regards the Hajj to Mecca, this year, Saudi Arabia introduced new changes to visas and removed the cap on the number of Muslims travelling from countries including Australia.
Previously, Australian Muslims were required to obtain a visa via licensed travel agents with a cap on the number allowed into the country for Hajj.

Now, Australians can apply directly online with no cap on numbers. As a result, the cost of travel packages has soared from around $12,000 to $25,000.

How do I extend Eid greetings?

You could start by saying “Eid Mubarak!”. This is the most common way to wish someone on the special day. It means to have a “blessed Eid” in Arabic, and may vary across different languages and cultural groups.

SBS Arabic24, SBS Pashto, SBS Indonesian and SBS Malay contributed to this story.

Tyler Mitchell

By Tyler Mitchell

Tyler is a renowned journalist with years of experience covering a wide range of topics including politics, entertainment, and technology. His insightful analysis and compelling storytelling have made him a trusted source for breaking news and expert commentary.

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