What is Hari Raya Haji?
Hari Raya Haji, also known as Eid al-Adha, is a Muslim holiday commemorating Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) faith and trust in God. When Ibrahim willingly prepares to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael), as God had commanded, God intervenes and tells Ibrahim his sacrifice has already been accepted. Instead, he provides Ibrahim with a sheep to sacrifice.
How do Muslims Celebrate?
This is a solemn holiday for prayer and sacrifice. Muslims will dress in their finest clothing and go to mosques to pray and listen to sermons.
After prayers and sacrifice, most Muslims will visit with family and friends and enjoy a meal.
Why must they sacrifice animals?
Worshippers sacrifice a live animal, usually sheep, lambs, goats and cows (depending on a number of factors such as where you live, income, and what is accessible). The animal is slaughtered as prayers are recited in remembrance Ibrahim’s devotion to God.
The meat is usually divided into thirds with one third for family, one third for friends and relatives and one third for poor and needy.
How is it different from Hari Raya Puasa?
Hari Raya Puasa marks the end of Ramadan, which is the month of fasting. Together, these are knwon as the “Eid holidays.”
Why does the date change every year?
Hari Raya Haji is never fixed on a specific date because the Muslim calendar and the Gregorian calendar differ by about 11 days and both calendars are not synced.
So in a nutshell, the festival gets celebrated about 11 days earlier than the preceding year, every year.
How long do Muslims celebrate?
Unlike Hari Raya Puasa, which lasts a month, Hari Raya Haji is only 4 days long. During this time, Muslims are not expected to fast. It remains optional if they want to abstain from food and drink on the eve of the holiday.
Do we have to give money away during Hari Raya Haji?
Many Muslim children look forward to receiving green money packets from relatives during their house visits in the Hari Raya Puasa celebrations but this tradition isn’t practised during Hari Raya Haji.
Any there any other things we should know?
Hari Raya Haji also marks the end of the hajj. Hajj is a holy pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are expected to make at least once in their lifetime.