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Feast of Sacrifice - What is celebrated there?

Today the 4-day Festival of Sacrifice begins. This year it begins on 31.July.2020 and goes until 02.August.2020. The Islamic Festival of Sacrifice is also called Id ul-Adha or Eid ul-Adha and is an important festivity in the Islamic year.

Why Muslims celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice

With the Islamic Feast of Sacrifice Muslims honour the Prophet Abraham. Abraham or also called Ibrahim was willing to sacrifice his son Ishmael for God. With this Abraham wanted to prove his faith and love for Allah. When Allah recognized what great sacrifice Ibrahim was willing to give, he sent an angel. The angel stopped Abraham from sacrificing his son. Abraham sacrificed a lamb instead. To this day, a sheep, a lamb, a camel or cattle is sacrificed to prove the trust in Allah.

How do Muslims celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice?

On the one hand, the Feast of Sacrifice is the highlight of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. But Islamic families also celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice at home. On the morning of the first day, Muslims gather in the mosque for a special celebratory prayer. This is followed by the ritual slaughter of an animal.  The head of the animal is placed in the direction of Mecca. In a private circle, the oldest male member of the family always takes over the slaughtering of the animal.

Then the meat is divided into three parts: One part goes to those in need, one part to relatives and friends and the third part is kept and eaten in the form of a feast immediately after slaughter. Friends and relatives are invited.

If the slaughter of an animal is not possible, it will not be done. In Germany many Muslims send money to relatives in Muslim countries. In this way either a slaughter is ordered or the money will be donated directly to institutions, that help people in need.

Above all it is a celebration for the whole family. Children receive presents, which connects the sacrificial feast with Christmas in Germany. The house and also the street are thoroughly cleaned for the Feast of Sacrifice and there are many recipes that are cooked in Muslim kitchens for this special celebration.


We did some research and asked team members and friends to find out how the Feast of Sacrifice is celebrated:

Shoaib, alvivi trainee: In Afghanistan, Shoaib always went to the mosque day to pray on the first. Traditionally, an animal was always slaughtered afterwards. He was 17 years old when he helped for the first time. The meat was always shared with persons in need. Sharing the meat was very important to him and his family. He especially enjoyed eating together with his family and friends. Also here in Germany Shoaib goes in the mosque. In the last years he always sent money to Afghanistan, so that an animal could be slaughtered and distributed to the people in need.

Ajmer, friend of Shoaib: The most beautiful thing about the sacrifice festival for Aymir is the solidarity, the friendliness and that family and friends come together. The food from his mom is his most beautiful memory of the sacrificial feasts he spent in Afghanistan. His most beautiful memory in Germany? Last year he had a team meeting on the first day of the sacrifice celebration. On that day, everyone from the team brought something to eat. He explained the tradition to his colleagues and they celebrated together. 

Mohammad , alvivi trainee: What is special for Mohammad is that you have 4 days to see people you don't see often. He especially likes the fact that even people who are arguing come together peacefully during this time. As a child he enjoyed this time very much, because he got much more pocket money than usual. The streets in Syria looked different at that time. They also smelled different because the whole neighborhood was cooking something special. Mostly they cooked something with yoghurt (white food brings luck) and many spices. He likes that even the poor people can eat meat on that day, because the richer people have sacrificed animals and distribute it to them.


- How do you celebrate the Feast of Sacrifice? And what makes the celebration so special for you?



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