To explore the festival of Eid-ul-Adha.
by Jude Scrutton
Suitable for Key Stage 1
To explore the festival of Eid ul Adha.
Preparation and materials
Pictures of different shapes of moon.
- Eid greetings card.
Use websites that show you the moon shapes over the year (type in ‘moon shape diary’ to any search engine).
Look at what the moon is like on 16 November.
- Explain that many people are looking at the crescent-shape of the moon around this time to celebrate a very important religious festival.
Ask the children if they know what this festival is.
Give clues as to what faith the festival is from.
- Introduce the festival of Eid ul Adha:
Tell children that Adha (‘Festival of Sacrifice’), also known as the Greater Eid, is the second most important festival in the Muslim calendar.
Explain how the festival recalls how the prophet Ibrahim (whom Jews and Christians call ‘Abraham’) was willing to sacrifice his son Ishmael when God ordered him to the following:
Allah (God) appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to Allah.
The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead.
- Eid ul Adha is a public holiday in Muslim countries.
Explain that Muslims all over the world, who can afford it, sacrifice a sheep (sometimes a goat) as a reminder of Ibrahim’s obedience to Allah.
Explain that in Britain, owing to animals’ rights laws, the animal has to be killed at a slaughterhouse.
They share out the meat among family, friends and the poor, who each get a third share.
Eid usually starts with Muslims going to the mosque for prayers, dressed in their best clothes, and thanking Allah for all the blessings they have received.
At Eid it is obligatory to give a set amount of money to charity, to be used to help poor people to buy new clothes and food so that they too can celebrate.
Time for reflection
Light a candle and ask children to reflect on the festival of Eid.
God, Allah, expects us all to share what we have.
How could you share some of the good things that you have today?
‘Lord of the dance’ (Come and Praise, 22)