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Happy to be home for Eid!

Picture above: my sister, my brother, and I dressed up for Eid last year!

I'm always super excited and happy when I come home from college to spend time with my family, but this time it's extra special because I am home to celebrate Eid al-Adha, an Islamic holiday celebrated by Muslims. "Eid al-Adha" translates to mean "Festival of Sacrifice" and it commemorates Abraham's (Ibrahim) willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Isma'il) as an act of obedience to God (Allah). Before Abraham could do so, God noted Abraham's dutifulness and Ishmael's acceptance of the command, and thus replaced Ishmael's body with a goat to be sacrificed instead.

Eid al-Adha celebrations begin after the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide. Eid related practices and traditions of people in different countries slightly vary. Every year my family gets dressed up in festive, traditional Pakistani clothing and we go to the mosque to pray special morning prayers. Following the prayers, the spiritual leader at the mosque, the Imam, delivers a sermon, usually about the importance of Eid and its fundamental aspect of charity. Every family is responsible for sharing meat with the needy, family, and friends. Then we join our family and friends for both lunch and dinner (usually at different people's homes) and gifts are also given out.

My mom has been busy preparing for Eid this entire past week because this year my family is hosting an Eid dinner party at our home. I'm especially excited because I will get to see my close friends who will also be home from college!

If you have friends or neighbors who will be celebrating Eid this weekend and want to wish them a happy holiday, the Eid greeting is "Eid Mubarak!"

Posted by Tania Bajwa on November 4, 2011 8:14 PM