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UAE announces Eid al-Adha holiday from 15 to 18 June

Saudi Arabia officially confirms the sighting of the crescent Moon, marking the commencement of Dhul Hijjah, the final month in the Islamic lunar calendar. With that, we finally have the dates for the Eid al-Adha break.

This announcement is pivotal for Muslims globally, especially those in the UAE, as it sets the dates for Arafah Day and Eid Al Adha, two of the most significant events in the Islamic calendar.

Public Holidays in the UAE

In alignment with these religious observances, the UAE government has announced public holidays for its residents. Citizens and residents will observe a day off for Arafah Day on June 15, followed by a three-day break for Eid Al Adha from June 16 to June 18. This extended holiday offers an opportunity for families to come together, perform religious rituals, and engage in communal celebrations.

Commencement of Dhul Hijjah

The sighting of the crescent Moon on Thursday, June 6, signified the end of Dhul Qa’adah and the beginning of Dhul Hijjah on Friday, June 7. Dhul Hijjah holds immense importance for Muslims, being the month of Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca, and the celebration of Eid Al Adha.

Significance of Arafah Day and Eid Al Adha

Arafah Day, which is the pinnacle of the Hajj pilgrimage, will be observed on Saturday, June 15. This day is revered as the holiest in Islam, where pilgrims gather on the plains of Arafat to perform prayers and seek forgiveness. For Muslims not on pilgrimage, it is a day of fasting and reflection.

Following Arafah Day, Eid Al Adha, also known as the “Festival of Sacrifice,” will be celebrated on Sunday, June 16. This festival commemorates the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son in obedience to God. The act of Qurbani (sacrifice) is performed, where livestock is slaughtered, and the meat is distributed among family, friends, and the needy.

Celebrations and Traditions

Eid Al-Adha in the UAE is marked by a series of traditions and communal activities. The holiday begins with a special prayer service held at mosques and open spaces across the country. Following the prayers, the ritual of animal sacrifice is performed, reflecting the story of Prophet Ibrahim. The meat from the sacrifice is then distributed, ensuring that everyone, including the less fortunate, can partake in the celebrations.

Additionally, the UAE sees various cultural and recreational events during Eid. Malls, parks, and public spaces host activities and entertainment for families, enhancing the festive spirit. Traditional Emirati dishes are prepared, and the exchange of gifts among family and friends is common.

A Time for Reflection and Charity

Eid Al Adha is also a time for reflection and charity. Many in the UAE use the Eid Al-Adha period to engage in charitable acts, such as donating to those in need and supporting various humanitarian causes. This spirit of giving aligns with the values of compassion and generosity that are central to the festival.

As the UAE prepares for these significant dates, the nation looks forward to a period of spiritual renewal, familial bonding, and communal harmony. The confirmation of the crescent Moon sighting and the subsequent announcements have set the stage for a memorable and meaningful Eid Al Adha 2024.

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Feature Image: Instagram @visitabudhabi

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