One of the perks living in Malaysia is to have the opportunity to dive in so many different religious and cultural festivals. Such as this coming Muslim festival, Hari Raya Haji also known as Raya Korban or Eid Adha. Besides enjoying the public holiday, why not brush up on your knowledge of the festival with these 5 key points

#1 Eid Adha marks the end of the Hajj, the annual Muslim pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

Each (normal) year, millions of worshippers flock to Islam’s most sacred mosque, Al-Masjid Al-Ḥarām. By performing the Hajj, devotees show their commitment to God. Muslims who are physically and financially able to are required to go on the pilgrimage at least once in their lives.

#2 Hari Raya Haji (Eid Adha) and Hari Raya Puasa (Eid Al Fitr) are not the same thing.

Hari Raya Puasa marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan, while Hari Raya Haji marks the end of the Hajj. Since Hari Raya Haji has a more spiritual focus, it doesn’t have the same concentration on feasting as a main part of the celebrations like Hari Raya Puasa.

#3 Hari Raya Haji is celebrated on 10th Zulhijjah; 10th day of the final month in the Islamic calendar.

The dates for Islamic festivals are based on astronomical calculations hence they differ every year. Because the Islamic calendar (lunar) is shorter than the Gregorian calendar, Islamic festivals occur around 10 to 11 days earlier every year.

#4 Also known as Eid al-Adha – “the feast of the sacrifice” – Hari Raya Haji commemorates the great faith of the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham).

He obeyed God’s command to sacrifice his son Ismail. As Ibrahim was about to kill his son on the altar, God intervened and provided a sheep for the sacrifice instead. Since then Muslims around the world would sacrifice livestock such as sheep, lambs and goats through "korban". It involves facing the animal in the direction of the Ka’abah and saying a prayer. Then the meat is distributed to worshippers and the needy.

#5 "Korban" during Hari Raya Haji

On the morning of the festival, Muslims will head to the mosque for sermons and prayers. After this, the korban is carried out, then Muslims visit family and friends to share food and gifts.

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