Today’s Wonder of the Day was inspired by Suhaib. Suhaib Wonders, “What Is Eid” Thanks for WONDERing with us, Suhaib!

Today’s Wonder of the Day is about a holiday celebrated by millions of people across the globe. It involves gifts and feasts. It brings friends and families together to celebrate. Have you guessed what we’re talking about yet? That’s right, it’s Eid!

In English, the word “eid” means “festival.” And that’s what Eid is—a big celebration. It’s a time for Muslims across the world to worship and feast together. People wish each other Eid Mubarak (“Have a blessed Eid”) during two festivals. The first is called Eid al-Fitr, and the second is Eid al-Adha.

Eid al-Fitr happens at the end of Ramadan. This is a holy month in the Muslim lunar calendar. During Ramadan, followers of Islam take part in many religious activities. They fast while the sun is up, and many give to charity. They also say a special prayer each day and spend time with family and friends.

Eid al-Fitr translates to “the Festival of Breaking Fast.” This holiday lasts three days. It starts with communities gathering at their mosque. There, they take part in group prayer. Before the prayer, many also make their Zakat-al-Fidr, a special donation to charity. Have you ever celebrated Eid al-Fitr? If so, you know it’s a happy time. Families gather for feasts. Many give each other gifts. During the festival, people also visit the graves of loved ones.

The second Eid, Eid al-Adha, comes later in the year. It lasts four days and marks the end of the hajj, which is an annual pilgrimage to Mecca. In English, Eid al-Adha means “the Festival of Sacrifice.” Like Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha starts with a group prayer, often followed by gift-giving and feasting.

During Eid al-Adha, families who can will often have a sheep or goat butchered. They will keep only a third of the animal for themselves. They give another third to a friend or neighbor. Then, they donate the remaining third to a family in need. The action of giving away most of the meat shows willingness to sacrifice something valuable in service to others and to Allah. This practice also honors the sacrifice of a ram by Ibrahim. That’s the same prophet who’s called “Abraham” in Jewish and Christian religions. 

People all over the world celebrate both Eid festivals each year. The holidays have much in common; families feasting and spending time at their mosques. But they honor different holy events in the Muslim tradition.

Do you celebrate Eid? If so, you know how special it is! If not, maybe it reminds you of holidays you observe. What times of year are most important to your family? 

Standards: CCRA.R.1, CCRA.R.2, CCRA.R.4, CCRA.R.10, CCRA.L.1, CCRA.L.2, CCRA.L.3, CCRA.L.6, CCRA.W.2, CCRA.W.4, CCRA.W.7, CCRA.SL.1, CCRA.SL.2

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