Wondering when Eid Al Adha will fall in Dubai? Here's our complete guide to the holiday for you.
Eid Al Adha, also known as the 'Festival of Sacrifice', is the second of the two Islamic holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide each year.
This second Islamic celebration occurs approximately 70 days after the final day of Ramadan and is considered the holiest of the two Eid holidays.
Eid Al Adha is expected to begin on or around Saturday 10th August, to Tuesday 13th August.
Both Eids are national public holidays in the UAE, and typically last three days - often longer for some sectors - so expect to see government departments, and some shops and businesses to be closed during Eid Al Adha.
If this is your first Eid Al Adha in Dubai and the UAE, or you're in need of a holiday- here's our ultimate guide to Eid Al Adha for you!
When is Eid Al Adha?
According to officials, Eid Al Adha - sometimes written as Eid Ul Adha, or referred to as the 'Greater Eid' - is expected to fall in the UAE on or around Saturday 10th August, to Tuesday 13th August 2019. It is considered to be the more holy of the two Eid holidays.
In Urdu and Hindustani languages, it is called 'Bakr-Eid' or 'Bakrid'. And in countries like Syria, Yemen, and in North Africa, it is referred to as 'Eid Al Kabir.
Of course, Eid Al Adha dates change every year, as the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle. Meaning, dates of religious holidays in Dubai, the UAE, and elsewhere may change on the Gregorian calendar each year.
Every year, Eid Al Adha occurs approximately 70 days after the last day of the Holy Month of Ramadan, which for 2019 in the UAE, was on Sunday 2nd June. This was followed by the Eid Al Fitr holidays, from Monday 3rd June to Thursday 6th June 2019.
In the Islamic calendar, Eid Al Adha starts on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the 12th and final month of the Islamic calendar. Eid Al Adha lasts until the 13th day of the month.
For 2019, Eid Al Adha holidays for both public and private sectors will begin on Saturday 10th August and end on Tuesday 13th August.
What is Eid Al Adha, and what does Eid Al Adha mean?
Eid Al Adha means 'Festival of the Sacrifice' or 'Feast of the Sacrifice'. The Islamic holiday marks the date when the prophet Ibrahim was commanded by Allah to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, to show his devotion and obedience to God.
In a test of his faith, the devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. Instead, as Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah stopped him and instead, gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead.
Did you know? The story of Ibrahim and his son is very similar to Christianity's account in the Old Testament (Genesis 22). Here, God asks Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, his son with Sarah.
Eid Al Adha's celebrations is to acknowledge and illustrate one's devotion to Allah, and the willingness to accept His command.
When and what is Arafat Day 2019?
Prior to Eid Al Adha is Arafat Day - a.k.a. the Day of Arafat. Arafat Day occurs on the 9th day of the month and is just ahead of the Eid Al Adha festival. For 2019, the Day of Arafat is expected to begin on or around Saturday 10th August and will end on the evening of Sunday 11th August 2019.
Every year, the Day of Arafat occurs on the second day of the Hajj pilgrimage, and the day before Eid Al Adha.
What is the Hajj pilgrimage?
The Hajj is the annual Islamic pilgrimage to Mecca, the holiest city for Muslims. The pilgrimage is a mandatory religious duty, which must be carried out by Muslims at least once in their lifetime by all those who are physically and financially capable of undertaking the journey and can support their family during their absence.
Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, alongside Shahadah, Salat, Zakat and Sawm. The Hajj pilgrimage is also the second-largest annual gathering of Muslims in the world. For those unable to make the pilgrimage, they are expected to fast instead.
The Hajj pilgrimage occurs from the 8th to the 12th days of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar. As we've mentioned earlier, these dates may vary in the Gregorian calendar, as the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle. Confirmed dates are announced following the sighting of the moon by officials.
How do Muslims celebrate Eid Al Adha?
Typically, Muslims will perform a full body-washing ritual, known as 'ghusl', before getting ready to head for prayers.
Muslim men, women, children, and families every year dress in their best clothing to perform Eid prayers in their local community congregation, or in their local mosque. Eid begins with prayers, thanking Allah for the blessings they have received. It is also common to visit family and friends, as well as offering presents to them.
During Eid, it is obligatory to give a set amount of money to charity, or 'Zakat', which is one of the five pillars of Islam.
Muslims who are able to and can afford to may sacrifice a sheep or goat as part of their Eid rituals, as a reminder of Ibrahim's obedience to Allah. Traditionally, a third of the mean is kept by the family, a third given to relatives, friends and neighbors, and a third given to the needy.
In the UAE, expect to see malls super busy as often Muslims will go shopping for Eid clothing - you might even see a few big sales, too!
How many days does Eid Al Adha last?
Traditionally, Eid Al Adha is celebrated for three days as an official holiday in all Muslim-majority countries. However, the number of vacation days may vary by country, and also depends on the date on which Eid Al Adha is observed.
For Dubai, UAE public holidays for Eid Al Adha vary between 1 or 2 days depending on when Eid falls. Both private and public sectors in the UAE have 5 days off from their working week, depending on when Eid Al Adha lands.
For Eid 2019, the confirmed date is yet to be announced, but if Eid Al Adha 2019 falls in the UAE on its expected date, Saturday 10th August, (bearing in mind the Day of Arafat, also) there's a possibility we could have Sunday, Monday and Tuesday of that week off.
How can non-Muslims get involved with Eid Al Adha?
As mentioned earlier, charity - known as 'zakat' - is one of the five pillars of Islam, and this is a particularly significant part of both Eid holidays for Muslims.
As a non-Muslim living in Dubai and the UAE, you can participate in the Eid Al Adha festivities by giving gifts to your Muslim friends and colleagues.
Every year, Dubai arranges a diverse line-up of events for families, residents and visitors to enjoy for Eid Al Adha, and it's not uncommon for firework shows to be arranged in Dubai for Eid, as well as shopping deals and competitions, discounts on some of Dubai's top tourist attractions, as well as fabulous shows displayed at some of Dubai's most recognizable landmarks - like Burj Khalifa, for example.
What greetings are said during Eid Al Adha?
Both Eid holidays have their own unique greetings to say to your friends, family, and colleagues in the UAE. Here are some greetings and phrases that you can say to your Muslim friends:
"Kul 'am wa enta bi-khair." meaning "May every year find you in good health"
"Eid Mubarak" meaning "Blessed Eid”
"Eid Saeed" meaning "Happy Eid"
"Taqabbala Allahu minna wa minkum" meaning "May Allah accept from us, and from you."
"As-Salam-u-Alaikum" meaning "Peace be unto you."
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