Qatar Observance of Eid al-Adha, Feast of Sacrifice

Eid al-Adha is an Islamic festival to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to follow Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son Ishmael. It is one of the two most important festivals in the Muslim calendar.

The first day of Hijri month Dhul-Hijja 1438H will be on August 23, while the first day of Eid al-Adha this year is expected to begin on September 1, according to astronomical calculations by Qatar Calendar House (QCH).

Pilgrims flocked to Mecca to observe the event ©Al Jazeera English/Flickr

Understanding Eid-al-Adha “Feast of Sacrifice”

According to QCH director Dr Mohamed al-Ansari and astronomer expert Dr Beshir Marzouk, Eid Al-Adha is always on the same day of the Hijric calendar (the 10th of Dhul- Hijja), while the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year.

The Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar while the Hijric calendar is a lunar calendar. This difference means Eid Al-Adha moves in the Gregorian calendar approximately 11 days every year.

Eid al-Adha is centered on prayers and sacrifices ©Frank van Leersum/Flickr

Announcements for the Holiday

The Qatar government is yet to announce the holidays, but the event usually lasts nine to ten days. Schools, meanwhile, are expected to start their calendar year after the holiday.

Heads up for the alcohol drinkers, stores and hotels do not sell alcoholic beverages during this time, so you might want to stock up supply before the holidays starts.

Qatar Distribution Co. (QDC) also announced that it will be closed from Tuesday, Aug. 22 and will only re-open on Sept. 3.

Eid al-Adha Practices

The festival, also known as the Feast of the Sacrifice, marks the end of Hajj and involves animal offerings as a symbol of Ibrahim’s (Abraham) sacrifice to Allah.

The feast is centered on prayer and animal sacrifice. Worshippers will kill an animal, usually a goat or a sheep, and offer it as a sacrifice. They do this in the same way that Ibrahim offered his son Ishmael to Allah.

Animals were sacrificed during Eid al-Adha ©

Muslims begin the day with morning prayers. They will then visit family and friends and exchange food and gifts. Members of Islam are obliged to share food and money with the poor so that they can take part in the celebrations.

For non-Muslim people, will it not feel great to join the celebration and share your food with the poor?