A celebrated topic/observance on THE 800 DAYS BLOG for the Day 765 post on Tuesday November 16 2010, was "Eid Al-Adha."
Eid Al-Adha isn't something that I personally have celebrated in the past but is something I have become more interested in just in the past few years. Eid Al-Adha is a Muslim religious holiday and festival whereby Muslims celebrate Abraham's willingness to sacrifice Ishmael, his son, as an act of obedience to God. Now, God intervened, according to traditions, legend and myth - and provided a ram for Abraham to sacrifice instead of doing so with Ishmael, so this holiday and festival is known also as the "Festival of Sacrifice" or the "Greater Eid."
As stated earlier and above, this isn't a festival I have been familiar with celebrating in my personal life. Luckily, I have learned more about this festival via contact with Blake, his writings and through searching around online to learn about Muslim traditions. Even though I do not identify primarily as a Muslim, myself, I believe that any culture's or peoples' traditional days have importance in the world...a belief I have only picked up in the past few years - so I think it is an act of reverence to start learning about things another culture's people feel are of tantamount and religious importance. I will be taking more care in years to come from this year forward - and start to honour other days/festivals that are important even if I do not adhere to all unfamiliar traditions outside of my own belief system.
I am learning that we can only "other" people, place prejudices against, act out against other people if we continue to ignore their ways and beliefs and then oppress these beliefs and people. We may not always be able to adhere to every belief foreign to our upbringing but I can't imagine it can be wrong to learn more or honour the beliefs of another culture... so I will not be missing Eid Al-Adha anymore in the future. Thankfully, Blake has placed the explanation on how the days of Eid Al-Adha are determined with Muslims and also has next year's days of celebration posted on the Day 765 entry on the 800 Days blog.
A quote - for the purpose of displaying the days:
- "This year is 1431 (Islamic Calendar): November 17 - 19 ,2010
- Next year is 1432 (Islamic Calendar): November 6 - 8 , 2011
- And the year 1433 (Islamic Calendar): October 26 - 28 , 2012"
Naturally, because there are quite rigid rules surrounding days of reverence for Muslims during Eid Al-Adha, I cannot participate fully - but I will make special prayers in my own faith during the next Eid Al-Adha which will contain wishes that others honour the elaborate, reverent celebration of the Muslims regardless of affiliation with other religions and cultures. For example, according to Muslim traditions, I would not be allowed to be in a position during Eid Al-Adha to "sacrifice" a ram or acceptable sacrificial animal - because I am not Muslim myself. I believe, however, that doing special cleansing rituals on the same days that Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Adha will not be looked upon poorly by anyone and cleansing rituals would put me in mind to be respectful of other cultures, even if I am not Muslim and even if I cannot quickly adopt or learn all about every Muslim point of belief or tradition.
What I have found very interesting and awesome about the Muslim celebrations is the great intricacy of ritual involved with Eid Al-Adha. When involved in these days of reverence, it must be that great care and mindfulness is employed for many hours of the day and for several days on end... this attention to personal relationships with God/Allah, to human relationships with the Earth and on humans together with humans should be more widely known and accepted in my opinion. These considerations are what I intend to project and experience next November! Until then, I will be learning more about the Muslim traditions.
Be sure to visit Blake's descriptions, article and details about Eid Al-Adha as I have in no way provided extensive explanations - only my belief here - that I ought to learn more about these Muslim days of reverence. There are a few things from Blake's article that I will have to get committed to memory so that I understand Eid Al-Adha better for next year.
Article: Eid Al-Adha the Festival of Sacrifice
The Day 765 post is associated with Tuesday November 16, 2010.
Allahu Akbar ("God is the Greatest," or "God is Great.")