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Eid al-Adha celebrations around the world

Getty Images Man carrying little girl dressed in traditional Palestinian attire

Millions of people worldwide are celebrating Eid al-Adha, or the ‘Festival of the Sacrifice’.

The three-day celebration is marked with special prayers, feasts and the ritual slaughter of an animal – with the meat then evenly distributed to family, friends, neighbours and the poor and needy.

It’s the second and larger of the two annual Eid’s – and also coincides with the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

Eid al-Adha is one of the most important Islamic holidays and commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to God’s command.

Getty Images People performing Eid prayers outdoors in Moscow
Moscow, Russia: People who could not find empty places in Russia’s capital gather to offer Eid prayer on the streets
Getty Images Groups of men embracing one another to celebrate Eid
Istanbul, Turkey: Muslims embrace after the morning prayer
Getty Images People arrive at mosques in Dakar, Senegal for Eid prayer
Worshippers arrive at a mosque in Dakar, Senegal, ahead of morning Eid prayers

How is Eid al-Adha celebrated?

Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu-al-Hijjah – which is the twelfth and final month of the lunar Islamic calendar. The exact date depends on the sighting of the moon.

On the morning of Eid, Muslims gather to perform Eid prayers in congregation.

People traditionally wear new clothes and visit family and friends.

They greet one another with “Eid Mubarak” or “Happy/blessed Eid” and often embrace and exchange gifts.

Getty Images Girls showing off their henna
Kashmiri girls show off their hands decorated with henna ahead of Eid-al-Adha celebrations in Srinagar, India
Getty Images A woman playfully sprays a girl with foam as they celebrate Eid
Cairo, Eygpt
Getty Images Three girls smiling at the camera
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
AFP Worshippers bowing down in prayer in front of the Kaaba
Mecca, Saudi Arabia: Muslims perform the Eid al-Adha morning prayer around the Kaaba, Islam’s holiest shrine

What is Hajj and why is it significant?

Every year, millions of Muslims from across the world make the journey to Mecca from wherever they live to perform the Hajj pilgrimage.

It is one of the five pillars of Islam – or five core beliefs of practices.

Muslims are required to make the journey to Mecca for Hajj at least once in their life if they are physically able and can afford to do so.

Mecca is considered the holiest site in Islam and is where the Islamic religion started. It is where the Prophet Muhammad was born and received the first revelations from God.

Getty Images A little boy looks surrounded by worshippers looking out at the camera
Kuwait City
Getty Images Muslims pray on a sand dune on a beach in Indonesia
Muslims pray on a sand dune on a beach in Yogyakarta, Indonesia
Getty Images Women queuing up for food
People celebrating together in Mexico City, Mexico
Getty Images People performing Eid prayers outdoors surrounded by rubble
Khan Yunis, Gaza
Getty Images A woman holding a baby as she prays
Abdul-Qadir Gilani Mosque in Baghdad, Iraq
Getty Images Hundreds of people praying outside on mats
Eid al-Adha prayers in the village of Abu Sir, Giza, Egypt

What is Eid al-Fitr and how do Muslims celebrate it?

Everything you need to know about Eid-al-Fitr

Getty Images Sheep at a livestock market
A livestock market ahead of Eid al-Adha in Algiers, Algeria
Getty Images Worshippers lined up for prayer
Toronto, Canada

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