Eid al-Adha in Oman
Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, is a significant religious event celebrated in Oman, just like in other Muslim-majority countries. In the local Arabic language, it is called عيد الأضحى (Eid al-Adha).
Eid al-Adha in Oman generally falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The exact date changes every year due to the nature of the Islamic calendar, which is based on lunar cycles, causing it to shift roughly 11 days earlier each year in relation to the Gregorian calendar.
Eid al-Adha has been celebrated in Oman since the arrival of Islam in the country, which took place around the 7th century. The festival commemorates the willingness of 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 trust in God.
National customs for Eid al-Adha in Oman
Eid al-Adha is a public holiday in Oman, and the celebrations usually last for three days. Muslims in Oman, like those in other countries, observe the day by attending special prayers at mosques, dressing in their finest clothes, and spending time with family and friends.
One of the main customs of Eid al-Adha in Oman is the act of sacrificing an animal, typically a sheep or a goat, to honor the sacrifice of Ibrahim. The meat from the sacrificed animal is then divided into three parts: one-third is given to the poor, one-third to relatives and friends, and the remaining third is kept by the family for their own consumption.
During the celebration, Omani families also prepare and share a variety of traditional dishes, such as shuwa (slow-cooked marinated lamb), harees (a wheat and meat porridge), and halwa (a sweet dessert).
Local customs for Eid al-Adha in Oman
While the national customs for Eid al-Adha in Oman are quite similar to those in other Muslim-majority countries, there are also some regional variations across the country. In some areas, for example, it is customary to host communal meals where large groups of people come together to share food and celebrate.
Another local custom in Oman is the performance of traditional Omani music and dance during the Eid celebrations. Performers dressed in colorful attire entertain the crowds with their rhythmic movements and melodies, adding a unique cultural element to the festivities.
Eid al-Adha is an important religious festival in Oman that highlights the values of faith, sacrifice, and charity. With its rich history and diverse customs, both national and local, the celebration of Eid al-Adha in Oman brings together communities and families in a spirit of unity and gratitude.