Eid al-Adha 2024: a celebration of solidarity and generosity

Eid al-Adha will be celebrated on June 16 this year! This holiday brings together Muslims from all over the world for three days of celebration, spiritual commitment and generosity. But what are the rituals that punctuate these festivities, what is its sacred origin and its symbolic significance?

What is the origin of Eid al-Adha?


Eid al-Adha, “feast of sacrifice” also known as Eid el-Kebir, Tabaski, or sheep festival in France is a big celebration for Muslims around the world. It has its roots in the sacred story of Ibrahim (Abraham) in Islam. According to tradition, he was put to the test by Allah when he was asked to sacrifice his son Ishmael. When he accepted the divine order with total submission, Allah replaced the child at the last moment with a sheep to be offered as a sacrifice. In memory of this exemplary devotion, every year, Muslim families sacrifice an animal in accordance with the rules in force. This symbolic ritual, rich in meaning, is a fundamental pillar of Islamic practice.


Eid el Kebir and Ramadan


Eid al-Adha comes shortly after the end of the month of Ramadan, a month of fasting and spirituality for Muslims that prepares them for this celebration by strengthening their piety and their sense of sacrifice. Around the world, the end of Ramadan is marked by an atmosphere of celebration and celebration, which culminates in these festivities. This period of spiritual renewal strengthens the bonds between members of the Muslim community and contributes to the promotion of intercultural understanding.


When does Eid al-Adha fall in 2024?


Celebrated two months after Ramadan, Eid al-Adha takes place between the 10th day and the 12thE Day of the lunar month of Dhul Hijja. In the Muslim calendar, this is the month in which the pilgrimage (hajj) to Mecca takes place, one of the five pillars of Islam, mandatory for Muslims who have the financial and physical resources. The end of it coincides with “the feast of sacrifice”. This year, Mutton Day is scheduled for June 16. However, the precise date will depend on the observation of the moon, which gives crucial importance to the “night of doubt” during which the exact day is confirmed.


How is the celebration going?


The day starts with the Eid al-Adha prayer, the Salat al-Eid. Then, the families that can do it carry out the slaughter of the animal. Its meat is divided into three parts. One portion is for family members, another for family and friends, and the third for those in need. After the sacrifice, the faithful come together for a great moment of sharing and conviviality. It is also common to give gifts, especially to children.

Our NGO LIFE is distributing gifts to children for Eid al-Adha in Somalia, 2023.

The tradition of ritual sacrifice


One of the most visible aspects of Eid al-Adha is the practice of ritual sacrifices, where Muslims offer sheep, goats, cows, or camels in memory of Ibrahim's sacrifice. It is Qurbani, or also udhiyya in Arabic. This tradition is rooted in the “sunna.” This means that it was initiated by the Prophet Mohammed himself. Muslims strive to choose healthy and well-maintained animals for their sacrifices, thus showing their respect for life and their commitment to the teachings of Islam.

Did you know that? There are specific guidelines for animal sacrifice in order to ensure ethical and controlled practices. Slaughter is carried out according to halal rules, with particular attention to avoid unnecessary suffering to the animal. For this, animals are not killed in the presence of other animals, the use of blunt knives is forbidden, and the name of God must be mentioned during the sacrifice. Sheep and goats must be at least 1 year old, cows 2 years old, and camels 5 years old.

Our NGO LIFE in front of the cattle dedicated to the sacrifice of Eid al-Adha in Somalia, 2023.

A celebration of sacrifice and solidarity


The Feast of Sacrifice is much more than a simple religious celebration; it is a demonstration of solidarity and generosity towards those in need. In France and in many countries, charities organize meat distributions, thus offering the opportunity for additional worshipers to participate in the celebration. No one should be left behind. This tradition of sharing and compassion reinforces the social fabric of the Muslim community around the world.

At LIFE, we offer our generous donors the opportunity to allow many families to take part in the celebration with dignity. For Eid al-Adha 2024, as in previous years, it is possible to contribute to the purchase of an animal dedicated to sacrifice. On time, our teams are committed to distributing meat packages to people in need, as well as to offering gifts to children in order to make them smile again. This valuable assistance is deployed in several countries, including France, Niger, Mali, Guinea, Kenya, Palestine, among others.

In 2023, during Eid el-Kebir, no less than 1257 oxen were offered, 2828 sheep or goats. 49,208 packages of meat were distributed, 11,500 sacrifices made. Almost 250,000 people have benefitted from our help and have found a bit of joy again!

Our NGO LIFE distributes gifts to children for Eid al-Adha in Lebanon, 2023

The Eid el-Kebir holiday in France


In France, a country of cultural and religious diversity, Eid al-Adha is celebrated with enthusiasm by the Muslim community. According to estimates, around five million Muslims live in France, making this holiday an opportunity for unity and pride for the community. Mosques are overflowing with worshipers who come to perform Eid prayers, while families gather to share festive meals, strengthening family and community ties. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, more than 100,000 sheep are sacrificed in France during these three days of celebration.


The challenges of Eid al-Adha


Despite its profound meaning, this celebration can also present logistical and practical challenges. The issue of the ritual sacrifice of animals raises debates about animal welfare and the regulation of slaughter. In France, authorities are working closely with Muslim communities to ensure that sacrifices are made in accordance with health and ethical standards. Approved slaughterhouses are listed in the country. The slaughter of animals by private individuals, i.e. outside authorized slaughterhouses, is prohibited.

Distribution of meat packages by our NGO LIFE in Kenya for Eid el Kebir

Eid al-Adha is much more than just a religious holiday; it is a living symbol of the faith, generosity, and solidarity that characterize the very essence of Islam. Through its ancient rituals and timeless traditions, this celebration continues to bring together millions of devotees around the world, inspiring them to embrace the values of love, compassion, and sharing. Let each feast of sacrifice be an opportunity to renew our commitment to our faith, our family and our community, and to reaffirm our determination to work for a more just, more fraternal world. Eid Mubarak to all Muslims in France and in all countries! May this holiday be a source of joy, peace and blessings for all.

 

Let's give an animal to families in need for Eid-el-Kebir 2024!

 

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