Eid Al Adha in Algeria: Preparations, rituals, clothes, meals

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Eid al-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) is an important Islamic religious festival that is observed by Muslims world-wide. This is one of the two Eid festivals that are celebrated by Muslims, namely; Eid ul-Fitr that marks the end of Ramadan as well as Eid ul Kbir ( Eid Al Adha).

Eid al-Adha is a commemoration of the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ishmael for Allah. As Ibrahim was about to sacrifice Ishmael, Allah directed him to sacrifice a ram instead.

This festival starts on the 10th day of the lunar Islamic calendar month of Dhul Hijja. While Eid al-Adha is always on the same Islamic calendar date, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies each year. This is because the Islamic calendar is lunar and about ten days shorter than the Gregorian solar calendar.

The beginning of Eid al-Adha is the day after the Muslim pilgrims descend from Mount Arafat at the end of Hajj. As the fifth pillar of Islam, Hajj is a pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, an obligation that every able-bodied Muslim who can afford to do so must fulfill.

There are a number of traditions and practices related to Eid al-Adha; Men, women and children dress in their best clothing and attend a mosque to perform the Eid prayer.

Muslims sacrifice a sheep in commemoration of Ibrahim’s sacrifice. This is symbolic of a Muslim’s willingness to make sacrifices in order to continue pleasing Allah. As the sacrifice is being made, participants recite the name of Allah along with an offering statement and supplication as a reminder that all life is sacred.

About two-thirds of the meat is given to less fortunate people so that they can also join in the feast of Eid al-Adha.

The rest of the meat is cooked and enjoyed with family and friends to strengthen the bonds within this group.There are many Algerian Eid Al Adha Specials, to wit; Osban (which is the stomach of the sheep), Bouzalouf ( the head) and meat and (Batata Koucha).

Muslims in Algeria, and all over the world, consider Eid Al Adha as a time of worship, to participate in charitable acts as well as strengthen ties with family and friends.

Before this festive day, people in Algeria buy new clothes, accessories for themselves, their families as well as their religious brothers who are poor and less fortunate. Besides, they prepare sweets to please children.

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