Eid-Al-Adha or Eid-e Ghorban as it is more widely known in Iran, is a religious festival of sacrifice celebrated by all Muslims worldwide, including Iranian Muslims, in commemoration of the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim AS (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to God. It is one of two Eid festivities celebrated by Muslims on the 10th day of Zulhijjah of the Islamic calendar, occuring on the day after the pilgrims conducting the annual Haj to Mecca, descend from Mount Arafat.
On that day Muslims who have the means to, sacrifice an animal, usually sheep, goat or cattle, as a reminder of Ibrahim's obedience to God. The meats are then shared out with family, friends as well as the poor members of the community.
In Iran, Eid-e Ghorban is celebrated as the third non-denominational Eid. For Iranian Muslims, Eid-e Ghadeer is considered even more important than Eid-e Ghorban. Eid-e Ghadeer is believed as the day of designation of the cousin and son-in law of the Prophet Muhammad SAW, Ali ibn Abi Talib, as the Prophet's successor, which took place ten days after Eid-e Ghorban.
Last year's Eid-e Adha or Eid-e Ghorban in Iran, which fell at the end of November, was not much celebrated as we had just arrived from our month-long home vacation. Nonetheless, after scrolling through my digital photo album, I wish to share with you here some of the moments captured when we celebrated Eid-e Ghorban, by offering four sheeps for sacrifice at our residence in December 2008.
resting under the watchful eyes of their shepherd...!!
the last supper...
getting ready for the ritual...