When is Eid ul adha 2021? July dates of Islamic festival - and how will it be celebrated in the UK this year

Muslims are looking ahead to the second Eid celebration of the Islamic calendar, which will take place later this month, Eid-al-adha.But, what exactly is Eid al-adha and what dates in July does it fall on this year?

What is Eid al-adha?

Eid al-adha is the second Eid celebration of the year, the first being Eid al-Fitr which took place in May.

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The celebration of Eid al-adha, which is considered to be the holier of the two Eids, is to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s devotion to Allah, who was willing to sacrifice his son, Ismail.

Muslims across the country are beginning to look forward to the second Eid celebration of the Islamic calendar, Eid ul-adha

At the point of sacrifice, Allah replaced Ismail with a ram, which was to be sacrificed in place of his son.

The original command from Allah was a test of Prophet Ibrahim’s commitment to obey his Lord’s command, without question.

Therefore, Eid ul-adha means the festival of sacrifice. This event is mentioned in the Quran, the Islamic Holy Book.

When is Eid al-adha this year?

The day of Eid al-adha falls on the tenth day in the twelfth and final month of the Islamic Lunar Calendar, Dhu-al-Hijjah.

The day on which celebrations for Eid-al-adha falls is dependent on a legitimate sighting of the moon, following the completion of the Holy Pilgrimage of Hajj - an annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia, the holiest city for Muslims. Hajj is predicted to take place between Saturday July 17 and Thursday July 22.

According to the Umm al-Qura Calendar of Saudi Arabia, Eid al-adha is predicted to fall around July 19 or 20 this year, and will end around July 23 - but the date will be confirmed nearer the time by a sighting of the new moon.

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How is Eid al-adha celebrated?

Traditionally, Muslims mark the occasion by sacrificing a lamb, goat, cow or other animal and sharing the meat with loved ones or the less fortunate.

The animal must be in good health and over a certain age in order to be sacrificed, which must be done in a halal friendly, Islamic way.

Eid al-adha is a public holiday in Muslim countries, but Muslims in the UK may take the day off work or school to celebrate this festival.

They will wear their best clothes for this occasion, go to mosque for prayers, and give money to charity to give poorer families the chance to have a proper Eid feast.

Mosques and community groups will traditionally often arrange communal meals.

They will also greet each other using the celebratory phrase Eid Mubarak and traditionally exchange gifts.

What does Eid Mubarak mean?

The Arabic word mubarak translates as blessed while Eid means feast, festival or celebration, so Eid Mubarak can literally mean blessed celebration or blessed feast.

One of the well wishes and greetings people wish each other during the festival is:

"May the divine blessings of Allah bring you hope, faith, and joy on Eid ul-adha and forever. Happy Eid ul-adha 2021”

Will coronavirus restrictions have an impact on Eid al-adha celebrations?

It is not yet known how the pandemic will affect Eid al-adha celebrations.

Muslims will hope that Boris Johnson’s prediction that Covid-19 restrictions will fully ease on July 19 is correct to ensure they are able to mark the occasion with typical celebrations.

The Eid al-Fitr celebrations earlier this year, which normally see family and friends come together at large events, had to be scaled back due to Covid-19 rules.