Eid-ul-Adha 2021: History and significance of this holy festival

By | Written by Krishna Priya Pallavi, Delhi
Jul 20, 2021 08:56 AM IST

Eid-ul-Adha 2021: Bakra Eid will be celebrated on July 21 across India. Read all about the history and significance of this holy festival.

Eid-ul-Adha 2021 will be celebrated on July 21 across India. The announcement was made a few weeks ago by the Islamic organisations in the country. Eid-ul-Adha is the second major Islamic festival after Eid-al-Fitr (or Meethi Eid) celebrated by Muslims. The festival is also known as Bakra Eid, Bakrid, Eid al-Adha, Eid Qurban or Qurban Bayarami. While Meethi Eid marks the end of the Holy month of Ramzan, Bakri Eid concludes the annual Hajj pilgrimage made by Islamic devotees.

Eid-ul-Adha 2021: History and significance of the holy festival of Muslims ((Sant Arora/HT))
Eid-ul-Adha 2021: History and significance of the holy festival of Muslims ((Sant Arora/HT))

The Bakra Eid is celebrated after ten days of the moon sighting. And this year for the month of Zul Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic or lunar calendar, the moon was sighted on Sunday evening, July 12. Therefore, Eid-ul-Adha will be marked on July 21 in India. The Day of Arafah or Muslim pilgrimage (Hajj) began on the evening of July 18 and will end on the evening of July 19. July 20 will be celebrated as the day of Eid-ul-Adha in Saudi Arabia, UAE, Qatar, London and North America. India usually celebrates both the festivals of Eid-ul-Fitra and Eid-ul-Adha, a day after Saudi Arabia.

ALSO READ: Hajj 2021: Date, history, significance of Muslims pilgrimage and Day of Arafah


According to Islamic beliefs, the history of the day dates back to when Abraham or Prophet Ibrahim kept having a recurring dream of slaughtering his beloved son, Ismael, to fulfil the wishes of God. Ibrahim knew that this was a command from God, and he spoke to his son regarding the dream. He explained how God wanted him to make the sacrifice and Ismael, who was just as much a man of God, agreed with his father and asked him to comply with the wishes of Allah. Shaitan (the devil) tempted Ibrahim and tried to dissuade him from making the sacrifice, but he shunned it away by pelting it with stones.

Allah saw Ibrahim’s absolute devotion and sent Jibreel (Angel Gabriel), the Archangel, bearing a sheep for the slaughter. Jibreel told Ibrahim that God was pleased with his devotion to him and sent the sheep to be slaughtered in place of his son. Ever since then, cattle sacrifice is a major part of Eid-ul-Adha celebrations.

While the ninth day of Zul Hijjah is celebrated as the day of Hajj, a Muslim pilgrimage, the tenth day is celebrated as Eid-ul-Adha which is also known as Bakra Eid. Eid-ul-Adha is a commemoration of Prophet Ibrahim’s absolute dedication to Allah.

Muslims around the world offer Eid-ul-Adha namaz at a mosque after the sun has completely risen and just before it enters the Zuhr time (midday prayer time). The prayer is followed by a sermon or khutbah, by the Imam. The celebrations that follow later include eating delicious food, giving charity to the poor and sharing the joy with family, relatives, neighbours and friends.

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