Our customers come from varied, diverse communities and we know postmasters often like to support their local customers by celebrating the occasions that matter to them. This weekend, millions of people across the UK will be marking the important Muslim festival of Eid al-Adha. If you’d like to know more, here are a few facts.
What is Eid al-Adha?
Eid al-Adha is an Islamic festival observed by 1.6 billion people across the world and millions in the UK and is one of the most important events in the Islamic calendar.
When is Eid al-Adha 2019?
From Sunday 11 August in the evening, lasting until the evening of Thursday, 15 August. The date shifts from year to year by approximately 11 days.
Wasn’t it already Eid a couple of months ago?
Eid al-Adha is the second of two Eid festivals celebrated each year. Eid al-Fitr is the earlier one and took place in June at the end of the Ramadan period of fasting.
What’s the background to the festival?
It is also known as the “Festival of the Sacrifice” and is a very holy occasion. It honours the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim (known as Abraham in the Old Testament in the Christian Bible, which tells a similar story) to sacrifice his son in obedience to God’s command.
However, before Ibrahim carried out the heart-breaking request, God, known as “Allah” in Islam, produced a lamb for him to sacrifice instead.
How is it celebrated?
To commemorate the story of Ibrahim, an animal is sacrificed and divided into three parts. One part of the sheep is given to the poor, one to the immediate family at home and one is kept to share with relatives.
Some Muslims may give money to charity to give poorer families the chance to have a proper Eid feast. Mosques and community groups will often arrange communal meals.
The festival traditionally lasts four days, with the first day marking the end of the yearly Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Islam’s holiest city.
People pray, exchange gifts and share food with friends and family.
What do I say to someone celebrating it?
Just as during Eid al-Fitr, you can say ‘Eid Mubarak!’.
Find out more
For a more personal view, read this blog that Rawa Hussein, a Post Office employee wrote last year, about what Eid al-Adha means to her.
And finally, Eid Mubarak to many of you, our postmasters, and to your friends and family.