Eid’l Adha or “Feast of Sacrifice” is one of the holy festivals in Islam celebrated by Muslims around the world. The Philippines is among the countries where Eid’l Adha is declared a regular holiday.
A Regular Holiday in the Philippines
Declaration of Eid’l Adha as a regular holiday is under Presidential Decree No. 291 in “Recognizing Muslim Holidays and Providing for Implementation signed by former President Ferdinand Marcos.
Thus, annually it is declared a holiday base on a proclamation by the president. President Rodrigo Duterte is yet to proclaimed the official date of the holiday, which is usually based upon the recommendation of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos or NCMF.
Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of the Dhu Al-Hijjah Lunar month and is also the third day of the Hajj Pilgrimage. According to Saudi media, the annual feast will begin on Monday, September 12, after religious authorities in the kingdom failed to sight the Moon on September 1.
Holiday Tradition and Significance
Eid’l Adha is considered holier (than Eid’l Fitr) festival in Islam. It is so called as “Feast of Sacrifice” because it commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah’s (God’s) command to sacrifice his son Ishmael (after he dreamed of such command), as an act of submission. However, in the mercy of The Almighty God, his son was replaced with a sheep and was spared his life.
As form of celebration, affluent Muslims sacrifice their best halal domestic animals (usually a cow, but can also be a camel, goat, sheep, or ram depending on the region) as a symbol of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his only son. The meat from the sacrificed animal is preferred to be divided into three parts – family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the remaining third is given to the poor and needy.