Eid al-Adha

or Eid ul-Ad·ha, ʾId al-Ad·ha

[ eeduhl-ahd-hah ]
/ id əlˈɑd hɑ /
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a major festival of Islam, beginning on the tenth day of the last month of the calendar and lasting for four days, usually characterized by the sacrificing of a sheep, whose flesh is divided among relatives and friends in memory of the ransom of Ishmael with a ram.
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Also called Great Festival .

Origin of Eid al-Adha

First recorded in 1730–40, Eid al-Adha is from Arabic ʿīd al-aḍḥā “festival of sacrifice”
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is Eid al-Adha?

Eid al-Adha is a major Islamic festival that commemorates the story of Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael (Ishmael) when Allah commanded him to. When Ibrahim showed that he would obey, Allah provided a sheep for Ibrahim to sacrifice instead.

For this reason, Eid al-Adha traditionally involves sacrificing a sheep or goat. The meat is then divided among family, friends, and those in need.

Eid al-Adha lasts for four days. Many Muslims observe the festival by dressing up, attending services at their mosque, gathering with family and friends, exchanging gifts, and making charitable donations.

Eid al-Adha occurs on the last day of Hajj, a pilgrimage that Muslims are obligated to undertake once in their lives.

Eid al-Adha can also be spelled ʾId al-Adha or Eid-ul-Adha. It’s often referred to simply as Eid. However, Eid can also refer to another festival, Eid al-Fitr, which happens at a different time. Eid al-Adha is sometimes called Big Eid, the Festival of Sacrifice, and the Great Festival.

One traditional greeting for Eid al-Adha is Eid Mubarak, roughly meaning “Happy Eid” or “Blessed Eid.”

When is Eid al-Adha?

In 2023, Eid al-Adha will begin on the evening of June 27 and end on the evening of June 30. In 2024, Eid al-Adha will begin on the evening of June 15 and end on the evening of June 18.

Eid al-Adha always begins on the tenth day of Dhu ʾl-hijjah, the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar. Because the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar, the date on which Eid al-Adha is observed varies from year to year.

More information and context on Eid al-Adha

The name Eid al-Adha comes from the Arabic ʿīd al-aḍḥā, meaning “festival of sacrifice.” The word Eid means “festival” or “feast.” The first records of the name Eid al-Adha used in English come from the 1700s.

The Jewish Torah and the Christian Old Testament also include a version of the story in which a sheep is sacrificed in place of a child (in these versions, the names Abraham and Isaac are used).

What are some terms that often get used in discussing Eid al-Adha?

How is Eid al-Adha discussed in real life?

Eid al-Adha is one of the two major festivals in Islam, along with Eid al-Fitr.


Try using Eid al-Adha!

True or False?

Eid al-Adha is the same as Eid al-Fitr.

How to use Eid al-Adha in a sentence