|The Eid crescent moon in the sky.|
Due to the date being determined by astronomical estimates - specifically, the presence of a crescent moon - many across the Islamic community are unsure about which exact day the religious holiday will fall on; however, according to Mustafa Ceric, the Grand Mufti of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Eid al-Adha will begin on Friday (26.10.2012).
So, wait a minute, I can hear some of you asking: What exactly is 'Eid al-Adha'?
I am glad you asked.
Eid al-Adha, also known as the 'Feast of Sacrifice', is celebrated by Muslims worldwide, and exists to commemorate Ibrahim's (Abraham's) willingness to sacrifice his son to God. On top of that, it also marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca.
It is a time for which Muslims use to ask mercy from God and wish each other well.
Due to the popular Islamic belief that, when Ibrahim was ready to sacrifice his son, God intervened to swap the child for a sheep to kill instead, a common tradition of Eid al-Adha is to sacrifice an animal permitted for food (eg. a lamb); which is seen as an act of thanksgiving for God's mercy.
Whilst some Muslims carry out the animal sacrifice themselves, many choose to send money to their native lands where the sacrifice is carried out on their behalf; and the meat is subsequently forwarded on to them or, as is common, to the poor.
This event - known as 'Kurban Bajram' in BiH (for those playing at home) - falls two months and ten days after the previous Bajram holiday, 'Eid ul-Fitr'.
|Eid al-Adha also marks the end of the Hajj pilgrimage.|
Anyway, I cannot wait to experience this second Bajram holiday. (Good food and good vibe across the community - it is almost impossible to not get caught up in it!)
However, the day prior to the beginning of Eid al-Adha also needs a mention.
The Day of Arafat, as it is known, is a day in which Muslims who are not performing the Hajj are expected to fast - as it is believed the practice erases one of all their sins of the previous and remaining year.
Therefore, not wanting to feel left out, I will be joining the local Muslims in fasting on Thursday. (Just imagine how good the food will taste on Friday after fasting the day before... Mmm!)
Luckily, the sun here in Bosnia is not in the sky each day as long as it was during Ramadan a few months ago, so I don't have to worry about fasting for some 17 hours again! This time it will just be a little over 12 hours.
Sounds a lot more enticing to me!
I will keep you all updated as we approach the coming days. :)