For many Muslims around the world, the evening of July 20th  marks the beginning of the celebration of Eid-al-Adha.  “Al-Adha”  refers to a sacrifice, and specifically refers to God testing the prophet Abraham by asking him to sacrifice his son.  God intervened and Abraham sacrificed a ram instead, and the festival commemorates Abraham’s devotion and the survival of his son Ishmael. To celebrate, the tradition is to engage in a ritual  animal sacrifice known as qurban and share the meat with the family, friends, the community and those in need.  It is also an opportunity to emphasize the importance also of  sacrificing of one’s desires,  time. effort or wealth for the greater good.  Eid al-Adha also commemorates the end of the Hajj pilgrimage.

The second Eid in the tale of two Eids refers to Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan and the breaking of the month-long fast that characterizes Ramadan, and typically falls first in the Gregorian calendar.

In Arabic the word “Eid” means festival, however Eid al-Adha is considered the greater Eid.  The greeting “Eid Mubarak” or Happy Festival is appropriate for both.