Eid-ul-Adha is observed after the Hajj – the annual pilgrimage of Makkah in Saudi Arabia.
“The celebration of Eid-ul-Adha is in commemoration of the command given by Allah to Prophet Abraham (may Allah be pleased with him) to sacrifice his first born son Ismael to him. The fulfillment of this noble command of Allah by Abraham signifies his faith in Allah….”
A duty of each muslim, as described in the Five Pillars of Islam, is to go to Hajj at least once during their lifetime, unless they are prevented by finances or ill health.
“The Hajj consists of several ceremonies, meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of prophet Ibrahim and his family…The pilgrimage also enables Muslims from all around the world, of different colors, languages, races, and ethnicities, to come together in a spirit of universal brotherhood and sisterhood to worship the One God together.”
Following the day of Hajj or Pilgrimate (9th of The al-Hijjah), it comes the Eid-ul-Adha day. It begins from the 10th of the 12th month of Islamic lunar calendar. This is the second main annual festival in Islam. On this day, like on the Eid-ul-Fitr celebration, festivities begin with a pray service held in an open place in the morning of the first day. This prayer is usually attended by a large number of Muslims. Since this festival occurs immediately after the Day of Pilgrimage, those who go to make pilgrimage celebrate it in mina, near Makkah. Other muslims around the world also join with the pilgrims in their joy and thanksgiving.
One significance of Eid-ul-Adha is that it is a time of sacrifice. Muslims commemorate phrophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice everything for Allah including his beloved son, Ismael. Since Allah replaced Ismael with a lamb to sacrifice in place of his son, Muslims also offer the sacrifice of animals. The sacrifice can be done after the prayer on the 10th until 12th day of the al-Hijjah month before sunset. The meat of the animals is distributed among the relatives, the needy people and some portion is also kept for one one’s own consumption.