Eid al-Adha in Eritrea

Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims around the world, including in the African country of Eritrea. In Eritrea, Eid al-Adha is known as Eid al-Kabir, which means "the Major Festival." The celebration of Eid al-Adha varies from year to year, as it is determined by the Islamic lunar calendar. It is celebrated on the 10th day of the 12th month, called Dhu al-Hijjah, and it marks the culmination of the Hajj pilgrimage, which is one of the Five Pillars of Islam.


The tradition of Eid al-Adha in Eritrea dates back to the early days of Islam, as the country has a long history of Islamic influence. The holiday is observed to commemorate the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) in obedience to Allah's command. However, Allah intervened and provided a ram for Ibrahim to sacrifice instead, symbolizing his devotion and faith. The celebration of Eid al-Adha in Eritrea has been deeply rooted in the culture for centuries, with the majority of its Muslim population observing the holiday.


National customs for Eid al-Adha in Eritrea

Eritrean Muslims, like others around the world, perform the traditional Eid prayers in the morning, usually at the local mosque or designated prayer grounds. The prayers are followed by a sermon, and the community comes together to ask for Allah's forgiveness and blessings. After the prayers, the act of sacrificing an animal, typically a goat or sheep, takes place. The meat from the sacrificed animal is then divided into three parts: one for the family, one for relatives and friends, and the third for the poor and needy. This act of charity is an essential aspect of Eid al-Adha, as it promotes the values of compassion, generosity, and sharing.

In Eritrea, the celebration of Eid al-Adha is also marked by festive gatherings, feasting on traditional Eritrean dishes, and exchanging gifts and visiting friends and family members. Traditional Eritrean clothing is often worn during the celebration, adding to the festive atmosphere.

Local customs for Eid al-Adha in Eritrea

While the general customs for Eid al-Adha are observed throughout Eritrea, there may be slight variations in the way it is celebrated in different regions and among various ethnic groups. Some local customs may include specific traditional songs, dances, and rituals that are unique to each community. These local customs add diversity and richness to the overall celebration of Eid al-Adha in Eritrea.


Eid al-Adha is a significant religious festival in Eritrea, reflecting the country's deep Islamic roots and cultural heritage. The observance of Eid al-Adha promotes values of faith, devotion, compassion, and sharing, uniting the Eritrean Muslim community and strengthening its bonds. The combination of national and local customs adds a unique flavor to the celebration of Eid al-Adha in Eritrea, making it an enriching and memorable experience for all who partake in it.