Eid al-Adha 2017 and 2018
Eid al Adha, or “the Feast of Sacrifice,” is one of the most important Muslim holidays all around the world, including in the small, Persian Gulf state of Qatar.
|2017||31 Aug to 2 Sep||Thu to Sat||Eid al-Adha Holiday|
|2018||20 Aug to 22 Aug||Mon to Wed||Eid al-Adha Holiday|
The observance is in remembrance of the Koranic account of the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ishmael on an alter in obedience to Allah’s command. Having passed the test, a ram was provided to Ibrahim to sacrifice in place of his son.
Eid al Adha follows the other of the two most important Muslim holidays, Eid al Fitr, by 70 days, and lasts for four days straight, beginning on the 10th day of the final month of the Islamic calendar.
Observances include: early morning prayers in the nearly 300 mosques and prayer areas throughout Qatar, wearing a newly bought change of clothes, attending special services at the mosques, going on pilgrimage to Mecca to fulfill Islamic law, and sacrificing animals such as cattle, goats, or sheep. The food from the sacrifices is consumed in large family feasts, and a third of it is usually donated to the poor.
Qatari government workers often get five days off around Eid al Adha, and private-sector employees generally get three days off. Schools will be closed for most of the period. Most banks will be closed, but certain banks, typically in the shopping malls, will be open on certain days during the period, if with shortened hours. Many Qataris will take the opportunity to go on vacation in neighbouring countries or within Qatar itself, while others will attend religious services and relax at home.
There are abundant activities for tourists to take part in during Eid al Adha in Qatar, including:
- Visit the malls for the numerous activities that will be running. There will be sword dances, mimes, circus-style shows, balloon shaping, face painting, puppet shows, story telling sessions, classic live shows like Aladdin and Cinderella, and much more. Try at the Ezdan Mall, Lagoona Mall, City Centre, Hyatt Plaza, Dar al Salam Mall, and others.
- Look for cultural shows and sporting events put on by the Qatari government. The cultures of immigrant workers from Pakistan, Bangladesh, India, Nepal, and other places will be on display, along with local Qatari culture. Expect singing, dancing, and dramatic performances. Also look at the Qatar National Theatre for special plays and at the Katara Cultural Village for possible fireworks displays.
- Tour the famous “Pearl Qatar” island district in Doha, the capital, which is connected to the main city by bridge. There are numerous marinas, hotels, and shopping opportunities. During Eid al Adha, look for special kids’ events, including such things as art workshops, a kids’ theatre, a bubble show, mascots, and free sweets.
- Check out local theme parks, such as the Aspire Zone, where you can go on pony rides, kayak or ply the waters in paddle boats, ride on a train, ride in horse-drawn carriages, partake in a remote controlled car race, and more. Also consider some “watery fun” at
Aqua Park, where you will find more special events as well.
- Learn about Islamic culture at the Sheikh Faisal museum in Al Rayyan. You can view ancient artwork and relics of Qatari civilization, and there will typically be special kids’ workshops.
Eid al Adha in Qatar spills over far beyond the limits of a religious holiday and fills the whole country with an abundance of entertainment and tourist oriented activities.
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