Eid al-Adha 2013
Muslims pray during Eid el-Kebir at a mosque in Koumassi, in the Ivorian capital Abidjan, October 15, 2013. [Reuters]

Eid al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, is the second most important festival in the Islamic calendar, after Eid al-Fitr. Muslims around the world celebrate the second Eid by offering prayers and slaughtering of animals.

Eid al-Adha, also known as Bakra-Eid, falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar. It is celebrated for four days. Dhu al-Hijjah is one of the sacred months marking the end of the year in the Islamic calendar.

Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, is related only with sacred timings, while Bakra Eid is associated with sacred timings as well as sacred places including Arafat, Mina, Muzdalifah and Makkah, according to the Fiqh Council of North America.

Eid al-Adha is called the festival of sacrifice because on this day God asked Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his only son, Ishmael. 

This year, the festival of sacrifice will begin in the evening of 3 October and end on Saturday, 4 October in Gulf countries. The Abu Dhabi government announced public holidays on 3 October (Arafat Day) and 4 October Eid al-Adha 2014.

However, in India the festival will be celebrated on Monday, 6 October. This year, around 150 Muslim youths in Mumbai have launched a campaign to ensure an eco-friendly Bakra-Eid.

How Muslims Celebrates the Festival of Sacrifice

The second most important festival is celebrated with traditional fervour worldwide. Muslims wear new clothes and offer prayers at the Mosque.

They later sacrifice goats, sheep and camels to honour the sacrifice made by the Prophet Ibrahim. During Eid, Muslims also visit their family and friends as well as offer presents.

They also donate money and food to help poor people on the day of Eid.

This year, the Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre has planned to organise number of cultural events to celebrate the festival in the UAE.

"The Hamdan Bin Mohammed Heritage Centre is pleased to conduct these different cultural activities and events during the Eid Al Adha holidays," Ibrahim Adel Rahim, the centre's director of events, told The National.

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