WHAT: This week, Muslims in America will mark the end of the yearly
pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, with communal prayers and celebrations at
locations around the country. (Contact local mosques and Islamic centers
for dates and times.)
TO FIND A LOCAL MOSQUE, GO TO:
The prayers, and the holiday that follows, are called Eid ul-Adha
(EED-al-ODD-ha), or “festival of the sacrifice.” Eid ul-Adha commemorates
the Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael at God’s
command. The holiday is celebrated with the prayers, small gifts for
children, distribution of meat to the needy and social gatherings. During
this holiday, Muslims exchange the greeting “Eid Mubarak” or “blessed Eid.”
Each year, some two million Muslims, including thousands of American
Muslims, go on Hajj.
WHEN: The prayers are held in the early morning. Many communities also hold
day-long Eid festivals for families.
WHERE: The Eid prayers and festivals are held either in local mosques or in
public facilities designed to accommodate large gatherings. Call local
Muslim organizations for details about Eid celebrations.
PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Each year, Muslims from America and many different
countries come to the prayers in colorful dress. The prayers themselves are
quite visual, with worshipers arranged in neat rows and bowing in prayer in
unison. Participants exchange embraces at the conclusion of the prayers.
NOTE: Because this is a religious service, reporters and photographers of
both sexes should dress modestly. That means no shorts for men or short
skirts for women. Some communities may ask female reporters and
photographers to put a scarf over their hair while in the actual prayer
area. Photographers should arrive early to get into position for the best
shots. Photographers are also advised not to step directly in front of
worshipers and to seek permission for close-up shots.