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5 things to know about the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha

Muslims attend prayers in Jakarta, Indonesida on Friday, ahead of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.

Story highlights

  • The Muslim religious holiday Eid al-Adha begins Friday and ends Monday
  • Eid Mubarak and Eid Saeed are greetings used during the holiday
  • Eid al-Adha is also known as the Feast of Sacrifice or Greater Eid

Five things to know about Eid al-Adha:

1. Considered one of Islam's revered observances, the four-day religious holiday corresponds with the height of the Hajj -- the pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia that annually draws 2 million Muslims.

2. Eid al-Adha commemorates when God appeared to Abraham -- known as Ibrahim to Muslims -- in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience. As Abraham was about to sacrifice his son, God stopped him and gave him a sheep to kill in place of his son. A version of the story also appears in the Torah and in the Bible's Old Testament.

3. Pronounced EED al-UHD-huh, the holiday begins Friday and ends Monday -- the last day of the Hajj. Eid al-Adha is also known as the Feast of Sacrifice or Greater Eid. It is the longer of two Eid holidays observed by Muslims. Eid al-Fitr -- or Little Eid -- follows the conclusion of the holy month of Ramadan.

4. During Eid al-Adha, many Muslim families sacrifice a sheep and share the meat with the poor. They also are required to donate to charities that benefit the poor. Muslims also routinely exchange presents during the holiday.

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5. Eid Mubarak (pronounced EED muh-BAR-ack) and Eid Saeed are routine greetings used during the observance to offer best wishes.

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