What is Eid al Adha?

Whenever wooden lamb displays appear on the streets of Jordan, they mark the coming of the main muslim holiday: Eid Al Adha, also known as the Eid Al Kabeer or "The Big Feast".

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It is actually very bad news for poor lamb...

Eid Al Adha means The Festival of Sacrifice when Muslims commemorate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice everything for Allah (God) including his beloved son, Ismael (Isaac).

As Ibrahim was about to kill Ismael, Allah intervened and gave Ibrahim a lamb to be the sacrifice instead of his son.

Since Allah gave Prophet Ibrahim a lamb to sacrifice instead of sacrificing his son, Muslims also offer the sacrifice of animals, most often lamb but also goats, camels or cow - what they have or what they can afford to buy.

By the way, that display on the streets...

"The smirky little ram gracing billboards across Amman, Jordan is the face of Tkiyet Um Ali, an organization launched in 2006 by Jordan’s Princess Haya Al-Hussein in memory of her mother, the late Queen Alia, who conceived this project to (literally) cater to the needy.

Tkiyet Um Ali is the first project of its kind in the Middle East. Inspired by an Islamic precept to eliminate economic inequality, the group provides food and humanitarian services to Jordan’s poor with particular emphasis on religious feasting. Focused fundraising takes place before the Muslim holiday Eid Al-Adha (enter the smiling ram).

Donations are collected year-round, but in the run-up to Big Eid, also called the Feast of the Sacrifice, Muslims wishing to forego personal animal sacrifice can make a fixed price donation to the NGO, fulfilling the requirement to provide meat to the poor."

Read more at: Jordan’s Tkiyet Um Ali Serves Up Big Eid Eats for All - by the Green Prophet blog

People share the meat with family and friends, as well as the poorer members of the community.

When is Eid al Adha?

The Festival of Sacrifice falls on the 10th of Thw al-Hijjah of the Islamic (Hijri) calendar which is the 31st of July in 2020.

Since the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar (with 365-366 days in a year) and the Hijri calendar is a lunar calendar (with 354-355 days in a year), the date of Eid Al Adha and all other islamic special days move in the Gregorian calendar approximately 10-11 days every year.

Aqaba During Eid al Adha

Being Jordan's only seaside resort, Aqaba is usually jam-packed with local tourists (ie. people living in the North of the country) during Eid times which are also school holidays.

That means all the hotels are fully booked, rental apartments ditto, the public beaches are crowded and there are regular traffic jams in the downtown.

Goverment offices (ASEZA, for example), banks and the post office are closed for a couple of days, too.

Should you decide to come and share the joy of Eid with the Jordanians, be prepared for the above mentioned inconveniences and make your hotel reservation well in advance.

Dead Sea resorts are also very popular Eid destinations amongst Jordanians.

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