Eid al-Adha Holiday in Lebanon
Eid al-Adha, known as Eid al-Kabir or the "Greater Eid" in Lebanon, is a significant Islamic holiday celebrated by Muslims all around the country. In Arabic, it is called عيد الأضحى, which translates to "Feast of the Sacrifice." The holiday commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Isma'il (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to God. The exact date of Eid al-Adha varies every year, as it is based on the Islamic lunar calendar. It falls on the 10th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah, which is the final month of the Islamic calendar. The date also depends on the sighting of the moon, so it can differ by a day or two in various regions.
The celebration of Eid al-Adha in Lebanon dates back to the early Islamic history when Prophet Muhammad introduced the holiday. Since Lebanon is a country with a significant Muslim population, both Sunni and Shia, the tradition of celebrating Eid al-Adha has been observed for centuries. The holiday is deeply rooted in the religious and cultural practices of the Lebanese people.
National customs for Eid al-Adha in Lebanon
Eid al-Adha is a public holiday in Lebanon, and many businesses, schools, and government offices are closed during this time. The celebration begins with a special prayer service at local mosques, known as the Eid prayer. This prayer is usually performed in the morning, and it is followed by a sermon.
One of the central customs of Eid al-Adha in Lebanon is the act of Qurbani or Udhiyah, which is the ritual of animal sacrifice. Families who can afford it will purchase a goat, sheep, or cow to be slaughtered. The meat from the sacrificed animal is then divided into three parts: one-third is given to the poor and needy, one-third is shared with friends and neighbors, and the remaining portion is kept for the family.
Feasting and sharing meals with family and friends are key components of the celebration. Traditional Lebanese dishes, such as kibbeh, stuffed grape leaves, and various meat dishes, are commonly prepared and enjoyed during Eid al-Adha.
Local customs for Eid al-Adha in Lebanon
While the national customs of Eid al-Adha are observed throughout Lebanon, there may be some variations in local customs depending on regional and familial traditions. In some areas, communities may come together to perform collective acts of charity or organize public feasts for the less fortunate.
Additionally, it is common for Lebanese families to visit the graves of deceased relatives during Eid al-Adha to pay their respects and pray for their souls. This is considered an essential act of devotion and remembrance during the holiday.
Eid al-Adha in Lebanon is a time of devotion, reflection, and unity for the Muslim community. The holiday serves as a reminder of the importance of faith, sacrifice, and compassion in the lives of believers. Through the customs of prayer, animal sacrifice, and sharing meals with loved ones, Lebanese Muslims come together to celebrate and honor the spirit of Eid al-Adha.