Occasions 365


Have an Eid Mubarak

"Eid Mubarak!" is a greeting you may well hear in the Islamic world towards the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and it is offered in commemoration of the Muslim holiday of Eid, which occurs twice a year. The first instance is known as Eid ul-Fitr, which falls at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, and the second is known as Eid ul-Adha, which honors the completion of the traditional pilgrimage to sundown. This pilgrimage is known in Arabic as "Hajj," which is why Eid ul-Adha is sometimes called Eid ul-Hajj.

Eid Celebrations

Of the two Eid holiday,s Eid ul-Adha is of greater importance. Known as the "festival of sacrifice," it is linked to the story of Abraham, who was so loyal to God that he was even willing to sacrifice the life of his son. A major part of the holiday revolves around beseeching God to forgive transgressions committed over the course of the year.

Eid ul-Adha celebrations are fairly elaborate, and consist of prayer, offering alms to the poor, and sacrificing an animal to commemorate Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. Often, this animal is divided into thirds; the family keeps one third for a meal, gives one third to close friends, neighbors or relatives, and donates the final third to the poor. On both Eid ul-Adha and Eid al-Fitr, is also traditional to have a family meal (usually a late breakfast or lunch), to wear new clothes and perfume, and to give small gifts to children.

Eid ul-Fitr is a relatively minor event, which marks the end of Ramadan, Islam's holy month and a month of fasting. This Eid is typically observed by getting up very early in the morning, having breakfast and participating in an informal group prayer.

Send Eid Greetings

If you have Muslim friends, sending Eid cards on both observances of the holiday is in good taste. However, it is important to bear in mind that Islamic holidays have not become secularized the way many Christian holidays have. Choosing Eid cards that are in keeping with the solemn nature of the observance is tasteful.

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