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Kurban Bayram public holiday 16-19th November 2010

Kurban BayramıKurban Bayram is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims to commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael to show obedience to God, but instead was able to sacrifice a ram. For Muslims it is also about spending time with family and friends, sacrifice, and giving thanks for being able to afford food and housing when others may have no homes and food.

Traditionally each family would sacrifice a domestic animal, such as a sheep, goat or cow. The meat would then be divided into three equal parts; the family eats one third, a third is given to relatives, friends or neighbours, and the final third is given to the poor.

This year the holiday covers an entire working week from Monday to Friday. This is important as, like the Christian Christmas, public offices, banks and many businesses will be closed down. In the case of banks they will be closed from Friday afternoon on the 14th November, often with early closing, until Monday morning on the 20th November. You should bank and shop with this in mind.

Eid al-Adha (Arabic: عيد الأضحى‘Īdu l-’Aḍḥā) “Festival of Sacrifice” or “Greater Eid” is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide to commemorate the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Ismael) as an act of obedience to God, but instead was able to sacrifice a ram (by God’s command).[1] Eid is also about spending time with family and friends, sacrifice, and thanksgiving for being able to afford food and housing. In traditional or agrarian settings, each family would sacrifice a domestic animal, such as a sheep, goat, cow, or camel, by slaughter (though some contemporary Muslims do not sacrifice an animal as part of their observance, it is still a very popular tradition, even in Muslim communities in Europe). The meat would then be divided into three equal parts to be distributed to others. The family eats one third, another third is given to other relatives, friends or neighbours, and the other third is given to the poor as a gift.

Eid al-Adha is the latter of two Eid festivals celebrated by Muslims, whose basis comes from Sura 2 (Al-Baqara) ayah 196 in the Qur’an.[2] Like Eid ul-Fitr, Eid al-Adha begins with a short prayer followed by a sermon (khuṭbah).

Eid al-Adha is celebrated annually on the 10th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah (ذو الحجة) of the lunar Islamic calendar. Eid al-Adha celebrations start after the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide, descend from Mount Arafat. The date is approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan. Ritual observance of the holiday lasts until sunset of the 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah.[3]

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