Eid al-Adha Celebration 2017

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The freedom of religion in Kenya has created cohesion despite the tribal diversity. As such, religion plays a key role in Kenya’s sociopolitical environment. It is no wonder that the various religious holy days are observed nationally regardless of the different faiths. In 2016, Eid al-Adha (also known as Idd-ul-Adha), was gazetted as a public holiday just 3 days before making Kenyans one happy lot.

I was curious as to what this September holy day entails and instead of making Google my friend, I probed Mark, a senior Travel Advisor at Jumia Travel East Africa.

Travel Advisor Jumia Travel

Mark Mukuria – Senior Travel Advisor

  • How many Eid celebrations are there?

There are two Eid celebrations in Islam: Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha.

  1. Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan (a month of fasting during daylight hours) .
  2. Eid Al-Adha is celebrated on the tenth day of Dhul Hijja and lasts for three days.
  • Why do Muslims celebrate Eid al Adha?

Eid al-Adha means Festival or Feast of the Sacrifice. It is Islam’s holiest festival celebrated annually around the world. It commemorates the time when prophet Ibrahim (AS) was commanded by Allah (SWT) to sacrifice his son Ishmael to show his devotion. Just as Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was about to sacrifice his son, at the last moment, he was given a lamb to slaughter instead.

Somewhat similar to the Christian and Jewish accounts in which God tests Abraham by telling him to sacrifice his son Isaac, before halting Abraham at the last moment and instructing him to sacrifice a ram instead.

  • Ah! Got it. So how is the festival Eid al Adha celebrated?

On Eid al-Adha, Muslims usually perform a full body-washing ritual – called ghusl – before going to the prayers. They will thereafter attend morning prayers at local mosques – often taking a different route back to their home, as this is following the example of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).

Travel Advisors Team reliving School days -TBT at Jumia Travel

They also wear their best clothes – ideally a new outfit. However, if you can’t afford it, it should be something clean and tidy.

Muslims will often actually receive new clothes as a present, as families and friends gather together to exchange gifts and eat traditional food, which varies depending on the country.

One of the defining aspects of Eid al-Adha is the sacrifice itself. Muslims who can afford, will buy and slaughter an animal, typically a sheep or a goat, as a symbol of prophet Ibrahim’s (AS) sacrifice to Allah.

The Qurbani (sacrificial meat) is then divided into three equal parts; one for the household, one for relatives and friends, and one for the poor. The meat can be shared with anyone, even if they’re not Muslim themselves.

Oh really? No wonder my neighbours have always given us a plate…

Yes! However, the animals have to meet certain standards in order to qualify for sacrifice.  They cannot be ill, blind, visibly lame and must be an adult.

In addition to the meat, delicious local dishes, scores of super-indulgent cakes, biscuits and desserts are part of the feast.

  • What is the season greeting?

Eid Mubarak meaning blessed Idd.

  • How are you planning to celebrate Eid?

I plan to spend the day with my friends and family,  observing the key elements of this holiday.

Mark with colleagues celebrating Jumia Travel’s 3rd anniversary

It is a special day for  me because it allows me to reconnect with my Muslim brothers and sisters and the entire community at large. It is also a perfect time to reach out to the less fortunate spreading the joy to everyone.

  • Any tips for Kenyans planning to travel during the festive season?

Kenyans who are planning to travel should make their reservations well in advance – be flights or accommodation. They should take this opportunity to have a family getaway during the long weekend. Not to mention, we have some wonderful deals on Jumia Travel. As part of the Travel Advisors team, we’re available 24/7 to help travellers get the best place at the best rates.

 

Mark Mukuria – Senior Travel Advisor

Mark Mukuria is our resident Senior Travel Advisor. He has a knack for helping out customers find their perfect stay and that they enjoy their holiday.

Eid Mubarak to our Muslim friends.

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