MAKKAH – `Eid Al-Adha is expected to start on Friday, September 1, for Saudi officials have confirmed that the moon of Dhul-Hijjah was not sighted on Monday, August 21.
“Therefore, Wednesday, August 23, will be the first day of Dhul-Hijjah,” Watania Media Agency reported.
`Eid Al-Adha will also start Friday, September 1, in Egypt, Qatar, Kuwait, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, and Jordan which follow the country of the ritual, i.e. Saudi Arabia.
`Eid Al-Adha, or “Feast of Sacrifice”, is one of the two most important Islamic celebrations, together with `Eid Al-Fitr.
It begins with special prayers to mark the day, Muslims then offer unhiyah, a ritual that commemorates the great act of sacrifice Prophet Ibrahim and his son Isma`eel were willing to make for the sake of Allah.
Festivities and merriment then start with visits to friends and relatives.
Traditionally, everyone wears new clothes for `Eid, and the children look forward to gifts and the traditional `ediya (cash).
`Eid Al-Adha marks the end of annual hajj.
One of the five pillars of Islam, hajj consists of several ceremonies, which are meant to symbolize the essential concepts of the Islamic faith, and to commemorate the trials of Prophet Abraham and his family.
Every able-bodied adult Muslim — who can financially afford the trip — must perform hajj once in their lifetime.
Earlier this month, the Fiqh Council of North America (FQNA) announced that `Eid Al-Adha will start on September 1, citing astronomical calculations.