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.
(Festival of Sacrifice) One of the two main Islamic festivals (the other is 'Id al-Fitr), this festival falls on the 10th day of the lunar month of Zul-Hijja and is the concluding act of pilgrimage to Makkah. In commemoration of Abraham's faith, sheep, goats and camels are offered to God, and the meat is distributed to the poor and needy. 'Id al-Adha is observed whether or not one is on pilgrimage.
According to the story, a desperate Hagar ran up and down between two hills called Al-Safa and Al-Marwah seven times, trying to find water. Finally, she collapsed beside her baby Ishmael and prayed to God for deliverance. Ishmael struck his foot on the ground, causing a spring of water to gush forth from the earth. Other accounts have the angel Gabriel (Jibril) striking the earth and causing the spring to flow. With this secure water supply, known as the Zamzam Well, they were not only able to provide for their own needs, but were also able to trade water with passing nomads for food and supplies. When Abraham returned from Palestine to check on his family, he was amazed to see them running a profitable well.
Abraham was told by God to build a shrine dedicated to him adjacent to Hagar's well (the Zamzam Well). Abraham and Ishmael constructed a small stone structure—the Kaaba—which was to be the gathering place for all who wished to strengthen their faith in God. As the years passed, Ishmael was blessed with Prophethood (Nubuwwah) and gave the nomads of the desert his message of surrender to God. After many centuries, Mecca became a thriving city and a major center for trade, thanks to its reliable water source, the well of Zamzam.
While Eid al-Adha is always on the same day of the Islamic calendar, the date on the Gregorian calendar varies from year to year since the Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and the Gregorian calendar is a solar calendar. The lunar calendar is approximately eleven days shorter than the solar calendar. Each year, Eid al-Adha (like other Islamic holidays) falls on one of two different Gregorian dates in different parts of the world, due to the fact that the boundary of crescent visibility is different from the International Date Line.
The following list shows the official dates of Eid al-Adha for Saudi Arabia as announced by the Supreme Judicial Council. Future dates are calculated according to the Umm al-Qura calendar of Saudi Arabia. The three days after the listed date are also part of the festival. The time before the listed date the pilgrims visit the Mount Arafat and descend from it after sunrise of the listed day. Future dates of Eid al-Adha might face correction 10 days before the festivity, in case of deviant lunar sighting in Saudi Arabia for the start of the month Dhul Hijja.