Thousands if not millions of pilgrims had their dream come true with the completion of Hajj. For many Muslims, Hajj may be one of the most difficult pillars of Islam to fulfill. It not only involves a journey which can be expensive but also in order to manage the Hajj within Saudi Arabia, each country will receive a set number of visas. Therefore for the pilgrims who are in Makkah on Eid al Adha are overfilled with joy and gratitude.
It is easy to recognize the male “Hajji” for he will have his head shaved which is part of the tradition of Hajj. It goes without saying that barbers in Makkah make their best profits during Hajj.
During Eid al Adha one will see abundant generosity throughout the Kingdom. I remember my late husband and I taking a niece and nephew out to a children’s park. As we were getting them settled in the car a Saudi couple saw us with young children. The couple stopped their car and gave bags containing candies and toys to my husband for the children in honor of Eid al Adha.
There should not be anyone who goes without a full meal during Eid al Adha. In addition to Saudis giving meat to family, friends and the poor, all the mosques open their doors to all who wish to have a meal. Many mosques will have a large tent beside the mosque where the ground has been covered with carpets and one can sit and enjoy the meal. If driving by one of the mosques the aroma of food reaches out and tantalizes the appetite.
It was typical for my husband’s extended family to get together and enjoy Eid al Adha. Usually the “gathering of the clan” would take place at my mother-in-law’s home. But even if it were at another family members home, one could be assured that my mother-in-law would oversee the meal and do most of the cooking. It did not matter how many of the large extended family were present, my mother-in-law could cook for an army!