What is Eid al-Adha, and how is it being celebrated during the pandemic?

One of the most important festivals of the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha marks the height of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.It co...

Posted: Aug 1, 2020 10:01 AM

One of the most important festivals of the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha marks the height of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

It commemorates the story in the Quran of God appearing to Ibrahim -- also known as Abraham -- in a dream and commanding him to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience.

Muslims believe that as Ibrahim was about to sacrifice his son, God stopped his hand and gave him a sheep or ram in place of his son. A version of the story also appears in the Book of Genesis in the Old Testament and in the Torah.

To commemorate God's test of Ibrahim, many Muslim families have an animal slaughtered -- often through their local butcher -- and distribute the meat to family, neighbors and the poor.

As the timing of Eid al-Adha depends on the sighting of the new moon, Muslims in different countries sometimes celebrate it on different days, though most follow the lead of Saudi Arabia, as the site of the Hajj.

This year, in Saudi Arabia, the United States and in many other countries, the festival begins on Friday and lasts for four days.

It is a time of celebration when families gather for meals, visit relatives and friends, and children are given money and new clothes. It's also a time when families visit the graves of their loved ones, pray in a congregation and donate to the poor.

Eid Mubarak (pronounced EED muh-BAR-ack) and Eid Saeed are routine greetings used during the observance to offer best wishes.

What difference does the pandemic make?

But this year, the coronavirus pandemic means Eid will be quite different for many Muslims.

Several countries have imposed lockdown measures that will restrict these gatherings.

This includes the UK, where current guidance states that people should not socialize indoors in groups of more than two households or outdoors in groups of more than six people -- or larger, so long as the entire group is made up of people from only two households.

In the US, lockdown rules vary across individual states. In New York, for example, where there is a phased reopening, people are required to wear masks in public places and maintain six feet of social distancing from others. However, groups of up to 50 people are permitted to gather.

Meanwhile, in Chicago, anyone hoping to visit a relative in an area experiencing a surge in new Covid-19 cases -- including Alabama, Florida and Texas -- will need to quarantine for 14 days on return.

In Louisiana, the state asks people to avoid groups of any size that do not allow for moderate social distancing.

In the Middle East, lockdown measures across in Iraq, Egypt, Iran and Saudi Arabia will also mean some traditions and gatherings are restricted this year, with festivities likely to be smaller and more intimate.

Eid al-Adha is the height of the Hajj pilgrimage, an annual event that has also been affected by coronavirus.

In normal years, an average of more than two million pilgrims attend the Hajj, which is considered one of the five pillars of Islam.

This year, social distancing rules mean only around 1,000 pilgrims can attend from within Saudi Arabia, while international visitors are not permitted.

Striking photographs show masked worshipers, whom authorities said had already been through a rigorous quarantine and health screening process, adhering to social distancing while circumambulating the Kaaba, the sacred structure at the center of Mecca's Great Mosque.

California Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 574231

Reported Deaths: 10476
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Los Angeles2105434998
Riverside41983820
Orange40527726
San Bernardino36072546
San Diego32975594
Kern24440171
Fresno17846171
Alameda13631209
San Joaquin12864223
Santa Clara12694205
Sacramento12040177
Tulare10862196
Stanislaus10264169
Imperial9693244
Contra Costa9404139
Ventura863492
San Francisco762367
Santa Barbara670469
San Mateo6318120
Merced573670
Monterey544635
Marin540481
Kings445356
Solano427441
Sonoma367047
Madera246339
Placer231922
San Luis Obispo225416
Yolo183444
Santa Cruz12436
Butte12388
Napa107411
Sutter9527
San Benito7654
El Dorado7552
Lassen6830
Yuba6464
Mendocino47210
Shasta45910
Colusa3914
Glenn3603
Nevada3571
Humboldt2864
Tehama2761
Lake2402
Amador1822
Mono1581
Tuolumne1553
Calaveras1471
Inyo1063
Siskiyou1020
Del Norte1000
Mariposa622
Plumas360
Modoc50
Trinity50
Sierra40
Alpine20
Unassigned00
Chico
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 93° Lo: 63°
Feels Like: 72°
Oroville
Clear
71° wxIcon
Hi: 95° Lo: 64°
Feels Like: 71°
Paradise
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 87° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 72°
Chester
Clear
60° wxIcon
Hi: 84° Lo: 55°
Feels Like: 60°
Red Bluff
Clear
74° wxIcon
Hi: 96° Lo: 66°
Feels Like: 74°
Willows
Clear
72° wxIcon
Hi: 98° Lo: 59°
Feels Like: 72°
It wasn't as hot for northern California today, but temperatures still reached seasonable summer levels and more thunderstorms sprung over our eastern counties. After one more seasonable day, hotter weather will return to our area.
KHSL Severe
KHSL Radar
KHSL Temperatures

Community Events