Eid al-Adha is one of the most important dates in the calendar for the more than 3 million Muslims in the United States. What do they do to celebrate?
Is Eid al-Adha a National Holiday?
Despite the fact that Eid al-Adha falls on Saturday, July 9, 2022, it is a working day. In the United States, most businesses keep regular business hours. Schools are closed in some areas, such as New York, on this day.
Eid al-Adha (also spelled Eidul-Adha) is a Muslim holiday that celebrates sacrifice. The holiday is known as the Festival or Feast of Sacrifice in Arabic. The observance was introduced by the Prophet Muhammad during his lifetime and is inspired by the story of the Prophet Ibrahim. According to the Quran, Ibrahim obeys Allah’s (God’s) command to kill his son, Ismail. God replaces Ismail with a ram as Ibrahim prepares for the sacrifice.
Though there are some differences, a similar story appears in the Holy Scriptures of Christianity and Judaism. Most importantly, God instructs Abraham (Ibrahim) to kill Isaac instead of Ishmael (Ismail).
How can you wish Someone a happy Eid al-Adha?
- “In every shared smile and laughter; every silent prayer answered; In every opportunity that comes your way – may Allah bless you immensely! Eid Mubarak…”
- “May Allah flood your life with happiness on this occasion, your heart with love, your soul with spiritual, your mind with wisdom, wishing you a very Happy Eid Day…”
- “May the divine blessings of Allah bring you hope, faith, and joy on Eid-Ul-Adha and forever. Happy Eid Ul Adha…”
- “May Allah’s blessings be with you today and always. Eid Ul Adha Mubarak!”
- “Sending you warm wishes on Eid and wishing that it brings your way ever joys and happiness. Remember me in your prayers…”
- “On Eid Ul Adha, wish that your sacrifices are appreciated and your prayers are answered by the almighty. Have a blessed Eid ul Adha…”
- “May Allah bring you joy, happiness, peace, and prosperity on this blessed occasion. Wishing you and your family this happy occasion of Eid! Eid Mubarak 2022…”
Eid Observances in the United States
Muslims in the United States, like Muslims around the world, usually celebrate Eid al-Adha with prayer, charitable giving, and a festive meal. The practice of sacrificing an animal at home, which is widespread in predominantly Muslim countries, is less common in the United States.
Eid prayers in the Morning
On the morning of Eid al-Adha, Muslims usually dress up in their best clothes and gather at their local mosque to pray and listen to a sermon. At the end of the service, people exchange Eid Mubarak (Blessed Eid) greetings and small gifts.
Do Muslims in the United States Sacrifice Animals?
Animal sacrifice for Eid al-Adha is a common practice in Muslim countries. If they can afford it, people will slaughter sheep, cows, or camels. They then distribute some of the meat to the less fortunate and their friends.
This is a much less common practice in the United States. American Muslims frequently contribute to charitable organizations that distribute meat or provide other forms of assistance to needy Muslim families at home and abroad. Those who wish to sacrifice an animal may do so by hiring a slaughterhouse rather than killing it themselves.
A Family Meal
Later in the day, people usually gather with family and friends to share a festive meal. Because Muslims in the United States have cultural roots from all over the world, including Nigeria, Pakistan, and Indonesia, the type of food varies greatly from one family to the next.
In general, Eid al-Adha is known for its extensive selection of savory dishes, which is how the holiday got its nickname, Salty Eid. (Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan fasting, is known as the Sweet Eid because it consists primarily of sweet foods.)
Eid greetings from the President
The US president traditionally sends an Eid greeting. They may also pay a visit to a mosque or host a celebration at the White House to commemorate the occasion.
Some People May Celebrate in Mecca
Some Muslims in the United States may not observe Eid al-Adha because it coincides with the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. For Muslims, the Hajj is one of the most sacred religious duties, ranking alongside other fundamental obligations such as prayer and fasting. In general, every Muslim is expected to visit Mecca at least once in their lifetime.
When Does Eid Fall? It’s Difficult…
First, the simple part: Eid al-Adha occurs on the tenth day of the Muslim calendar month of Dhu al-Hijjah. However, the dates of Islamic holidays, including Eid, are difficult to predict. Because the Muslim lunar calendar is based on actual Moon sightings, the date of Eid is usually debatable until the Waxing Crescent Moon is spotted in the evening sky following the New Moon phase.(This is why we label Muslim holidays as “Tentative Date” on our holiday pages and may change them once the official date is announced.)
At the same time, because the Islamic calendar year is about 11 days shorter than the Gregorian calendar year, Eid always falls on a later Gregorian date. Muslim communities also have different rules for determining the date. As a result, even within the United States, some communities may observe Eid on a different date than others. To make matters even more complicated, some Muslims may observe the holiday for up to three days, while others observe only the first.