Photo : Muslims offer Eid al-Azha prayers outside al-Seddik mosque in Cairo
While many will celebrate on Tuesday, millions of others, including in South Asia, will celebrate the start of the religious holiday the day after.
Eid ul-Azha, which in Arabic literally means the “festival of the sacrifice”, commemorates the story of the Muslim Prophet Ibrahim’s test of faith.
Muslims believe Ibrahim was commanded by God him to sacrifice his son, Ismail. Tradition holds that God stayed his hand, sparing the boy, and placing a ram in his place.
The day is marked with the sacrifice of an animal, usually a goat, sheep, or cow, and the distribution of the meat among neighbours, family members, and the poor.
In the village of Mina, near the Muslim holy city of Mecca, it marks the day, millions of pilgrims perform the symbolic stoning of the devil.
The five-day-long Hajj is a series of rituals meant to cleanse the soul of sins and instill a sense of equality and brotherhood among Muslims.
The pilgrimage is required of all Muslims with the financial and physical means to perform it.
During the last three days of Hajj , male pilgrims shave their heads and remove the white cloth garments worn during the Hajj, known as the ‘ihram’. Women cut off a small lock of hair in a sign of spiritual rebirth and renewal.
Eid ul-Azha is also known as:
Eidul Adha in the Philippines .
Eid el-Kabir in Nigeria and Morocco.
Tabaski in Senegal and Gambia.
Kurban Bayrami in Turkey.
Hari Raya Haji in Indonesia, Malaysia and Singapore.
Eid-e-Qurbon in Iran.
Bakri-Id or Qurbani Eid in South Asia.