We had a public holiday today (Monday, September 12) here in Dar es Salaam in honor of Eid al-Adha. For those unfamiliar (including myself), Eid al-Adha is Islam’s holiest festival that “…commemorates the day when prophet Abraham was going to sacrifice his son but was instructed by God to offer an animal instead. Eid al-Adha in Arabic literally means ‘festival of the sacrifice’.” (Source: Al Jazeera. Thanks for the helpful primer as well as these great photos of folks preparing for the holiday worldwide!)

I found it interesting that the date of the official holiday here in Tanzania was not announced until one week ago, September 5th. The festival date is related to whether a new moon is sighted on Sept 1; again Al Jazeera explains the details better than I of how the Saudi supreme court determines these things. This also coincides with the Hajj, a.k.a. the pilgrimage to mecca that all Muslims are required to make (if they are physically/financially capable of doing so).

One benefit of being in such a diverse country (with 1/3 of Tanzanians practicing Islam, 1/3 Christianity, and the other third various indigenous religions) is that Paige gets some light exposure to new concepts like this at preschool.

Paige's first Arabic art project!

Paige’s first Arabic art project!

And by “light exposure”, I mean that she was incredibly excited to show me the card that she made for me but had no idea what it was for. But hey – fair enough. I reckon that when you start getting into the details of son vs. ram sacrifice with three year olds is when you risk getting some phone calls from parents.

Eid Mubarak translates to “blessed Eid” or “blessed celebration”, so impress your Muslim friends today with your newfound knowledge. 🙂