Eid al-Adha: The Festival of Sacrifice

BY AMANDA MOSES

The evening of Monday, August 20th will mark the start of the Islamic holiday, Eid al-Adha, which is also known as the Festival of Sacrifice. This celebration commemorates Abraham’s unwavering trust and belief in God, so much so that he was willing to sacrifice his son. God was so pleased with Abraham’s steadfast faith that he provided Abraham with a sheep to sacrifice instead. Over the course of four days, Muslims will celebrate this.  holiday by eating a lot of red meat. Eid al-Adha also signifies the end of Ramadan (a month-long fast).

A few facts about Eid al-Adha from FoodRepublic.com: 

  • Eid al-Adha occurs at the end of an annual pilgrimage known as the Hajj, which is a voyage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia.
  • This holiday is a time of celebration, when everyone dresses in their finest clothes and dines together. If they are able to do so, they can sacrifice an entire halal animal (cow, goat, or sheep) and then distribute the meat to their neighbors and the poor.
  • The meal preparation is very important on this holiday. The red meat is divided into three parts. Of those three parts, the family keeps some, neighbors and friends receive another part, and finally the last part of the meat is given to those less fortunate.
  • The sheep, goat, or cow being sacrificed is called Udiyyah, which is “the sacrificed” in Arabic.
  • Throughout the four days, families dine on various parts of the red meat. For example, for breakfast a family can eat fried liver, and then the other parts of the animal for lunch and dinner.
  • The preparation of the meat varies from country to country. Within many Islamic countries, families usually braise the meat and season it with garlic, cumin, and onion over a slow fire. Some may use the meat inside of a spicy rice dish known as, Biryani, or they might just make a kebab where they grill the meat with a skewer and vegetables.