Over four million Muslims across the country will join others worldwide to celebrate the annual Eid-ul Adha, on Tuesday, October 15.
Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th day of Dhu-l-hijah, the last month of the Islamic year, following the completion of the course of Haji, the holy pilgrimage to Mecca.
Eid ul-Adha is an Islamic festival which commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim (also known as Abraham) to follow Allah's command to sacrifice his son Ishmael.
It also offers an opportunity for Muslims to pray for forgiveness from Allah and to strengthen their faith. They in turn forgive others.
The celebration is, therefore, very important for all Muslims because it is said to have the merits of the five daily prayers and the Friday prayers called Juma’ah .
It also has the characteristics of the annual reunion of Muslims all over the world, which is manifested in the annual pilgrimage to the holy cities of Mecca and Medina where millions of Muslims gather to perform the prescribed religious rites ordained by Allah.
Muslims use the occasion of Eid-Ul-Adha to pray to Allah and to glorify His name for His grace and favours.
Followers of Islam usually remembered the deceased by praying for their souls to rest in peace. The needy and vulnerable in society are shown sympathy and consolation.
Over 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide are taking part in the celebrations. In Ghana the day has been made a Public Holday.
It is characteristic of the celebration for Muslims to wear their best and attend Salatul-Eid (Eid Prayers) in the morning, after which they socialise by visiting one another’s house to enjoy festive meals prepared for the occasion.
Like the pilgrims in Mecca, Muslims who could not undertake the pilgrimage offer domestic animals, usually sheep, as a symbol of Ibrahim's sacrifice.
Some of the meat is given to the poor. The rest is shared among family, relatives and friends.
The meat from the sacrifice is mostly given to others and this symbolises the willingness of an individual to give up things that are of benefit to them or close to their hearts.
It also symbolises one’s willingness to share in order to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need, while recognising that all blessings come from Allah.
The celebration is most exciting in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) due to its promity to the Holly Land.
Dubai is expecting 65 million pilgrims from around the world this year. It will be a transit point before pilgrims travel to Jeddah in Saudi Arabia, the closest city to the Mecca.
During the Eid holidays, amusement parks such as Dubai's Global Village or the car-leisure complex Ferrari World in Abu Dhabi remain open for longer duration, while Dubai's major shopping malls will remain open round the clock.
The Dubai government is offering free parking from Oct 13 to18, and the Dubai Metro will run till 3 am.
All UAE government employees have been given a week's holiday, starting Sunday.