HistoryThe holy festival of Eid al-Adha revolves around a story related to Ibrahim (Abraham). Ibrahim had been told by Allah to sacrifice his son Ishamel to the Almighty to prove his faith towards Allah. He decided to obey the Almighty’s orders, but simultaneously, a devil tried to provoke him to disobey the Almighty. Ibrahim threw pebbles at the devil to get rid of him. Due to which the devil left them. He was about to sacrifice his son when The Almighty replaced his son with a lamb. Since he has been faithful towards Allah, his son was spared.
Thus, every year, Muslims celebrate the holy festival of Eid al-Adha to commemorate Ibrahim’s loyalty and obedience to Allah above all others. Eid al-Adha is also known as the festival of sacrifice due to Ibrahim’s deeds.
Dates for Eid-al-Adha in UAE
The festival of Eid al Adha in UAE takes place on the tenth day of the last month of the Muslim lunar calendar. The lunar calendar is 11 days short when compared to the Gregorian calendar, and hence this festival takes place on different dates every year. The festival is celebrated around 70 days after Ramadan, lasts for five days and is generally observed during the last three days of Hajj.
Eid al-Adha 2019: The eve of August 11 to the eve of August 12.
Major Islamic Holidays in UAEAs Islam is the fundamental religion of the citizens of UAE, hence the government of UAE has proposed several national holidays during the sacred festival of Eid al-Adha. Holidays begin from the day of Hajj and commences until the day when Eid ends.
However, all Muslim festivals are celebrated with zeal among UAE people and national holidays are set for them too.
Common Phrases and Greetings during Eid1. Eid Mubarak - Have a blessed Eid
2. As-Salaam u Alaikum - May peace be unto you
3. Kul’ am wa enta bi-khair - May every year finds you in good health
4. Eid Saeed - Happy Eid
5. Taqabbala Allahu minna wa minkum - May Allah accept from us, and you
Eid-al-Adha FormalitiesLike other festivals, Eid is also celebrated by buying new clothes, eating delicious food and performing rituals, chanting prayers and helping the poor. However, there are some formalities and rules as to how Eid al-Adha in UAE should be celebrated. Let’s take a quick look at them.
1. Mecca and Hajj Formalities
Performing a Hajj (pilgrimage), at least once in your lifetime is a necessity for a good fortune if you are a Muslim (also if you are financially fit to do so). During Eid-al-Adha, Muslims from all across the globe travel to Mecca or other surrounding areas in Saudi Arabia to perform Hajj. The government of the UAE has several tour facilities for Muslims performing Hajj during Eid.
Muslims performing Hajj, visit the city of Mina and throw pebbles at the three pillars in the town. It is believed that Ibrahim threw stones at the devil at this place to drive him away.
What to do if Hajj is not possible?
Muslims who are unable to perform Hajj, go to the mosque in the morning for prayers or hang out with their relatives and friends and wear new clothes and eat good food. On Arafat Day, Muslims perform a fast which marks the last sermon by Prophet Muhammad.
2. Religious Offerings during Eid
In the Islamic religion, it is believed that if you donate food, clothes or any other thing to the people who are in need, then this can bring in good fortune. So, in the auspicious occasion of Eid al Adha in UAE, Muslims donate clothes, money and even meat meals to the poor to ensure that they don’t go to bed hungry.
3. The Sacred Sacrifice - GurbaniGurbani is referred to as the process of sacrificing an animal (a sheep or a goat) to Allah. The animal represents the lamb that Ibrahim sacrificed to Allah. The animal is termed as Udhiya.
There are still some traditional Muslim families or community that buy an animal and sacrifice it to Allah on a required day. After that, they donate the meat to poor people to bring in good fortune.
In some countries, killing an animal for this purpose (Gurbani) is not allowed. People there buy meat from meat shops and then donate the same. Some families that do not want to buy meat, directly donate money to charities that arrange special meat for poor people.
Celebrations For Eid Al Adha in UAE
1. Lively Atmosphere
During massive festivals like Eid, cities in UAE come alive, and the preparations are done at a whole new level. Cities like Dubai are lit up like never before, shopping malls and cinema theatres put up hoardings and set up massive discounts prevalent to Eid. People even come up to the streets to celebrate this festival with everyone else and have a good time. Shops, boutiques and souks too decorate themselves and get prepared for the rush of Muslims (for buying gifts to give others on Eid).
The government too arranges special tourist deals and discounts during Eid al Adha in UAE. Though, you have to pre-book tickets as everyone is interested to see how massively the Arabs celebrate Eid.
2. Exquisite food during Eid al-Adha
Eid brings home with it a few traditional Arab cuisines which are surely lip-smacking. As we know, Arabs have an exciting food culture for which they are eminent too. A few of these dishes are mentioned below.
Quzi- Quzi or Qoozi or ghozi rice is the national dish of Iraq and was introduced into turkey and hence UAE by Arabs. It is prepared with very slow-cooked lamb with a perfect combo of spices and is served with rice. Finally, it is topped of with roasted rice and raisins. Due to its increasing popularity, it has become a signature dish for this festival.
Chicken Machboos- Chicken Machboos or Machboos ala Dajaj is the national dish of Bahrain. This dish can be referred to as the alternative to Biryani (in India). Chicken thighs are cooked in tomatoes, herbs, onions and spices. It is then served with basmati rice. The soft cooked chicken which is rich spices makes this dish a signature one.
Luqaimat- Often referred to as the bite-sized sweet dumpling from Qatar, is often accompanied with tea as a snack. It is prepared by dipping doughnut balls in honey. The taste of this syrupy dumpling seems heavenly to the taste-buds.
Tips for Non-Muslims Visiting during Eid Al Adha in UAE1. No Eating, Drinking or Smoking in Public
During fasting hours, no one would be tolerated on eating, drinking or smoking in public as well as private places as this would hurt their religion. Moreover, public observance of the fast is extremely necessary regardless of your religion.
2. Wear Appropriate Clothes in Public Places
Clothes that reveal sections of your body are not allowed or are considered inappropriate during Eid. Visitors should respect the clothing of the locals. They should avoid wearing dresses such as shorts, mini-skirts and sleeveless tops when they pay a visit to malls, restaurants, etc.
3. Avoid Display of Affection in Public Places
Public display of affection towards one another is considered indecent in UAE during festivals such as Eid.
4. You can help the Needy
Overlooking religion differences, you too can help the poor with clothes, eatables or also with money. You can even donate to a charity which supports these people.
5. Hajj Prohibitions
You will not be allowed to enter the city of Mecca (if you are a non-Muslim), even if you wish to perform Hajj. Mecca is considered as a holy city in the religion of Islam.
6. Business shutdown
During the festival of Eid in UAE, the government has reserved 4 days as a national holiday. During this time all business, shops and markets would be closed.
7. A vacation to UAE during EID
Planning a vacation during Eid al Adha in UAE might not be a great idea. Although you get a glimpse at how the Arabs celebrate this fest, but your touring plans across the country might take a toll as all travel agencies and travel businesses are shutdown during these 4 days of Eid.