The Federal Government has declared Tuesday, Aug. 21, and Wednesday, Aug. 22 as public holidays to celebrate the 2018 Eid-el-Kabir.
The Minister of Interior, Retired Lt.-Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau, made the declaration on Thursday in Abuja in a statement issued by Dr Mohammed Umar, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry.
While wishing Nigerians a happy Eid-el-Kabir celebration, Dambazau enjoined the citizens to use the period to embrace the virtues of love and sacrifice for the unity and development of the country.
He urged Nigerians both at home and abroad to support the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari in its determination to foster a peaceful and united Nigeria.
While it is mostly known as Eid or Id el Kabir in Nigeria, you might also see the celebration being called Eid al-Adha.
Either way, it means ‘Feast of Sacrifice’, as a reference to Ibrahim’s sacrifice of Ishmael on Mount Moriah. On this day (or shall we say days), devoted Muslims travel to the Saudi Arabian Mecca on pilgrimage to re-enact Ibrahim’s sacrifice.
However, those that do not have the means to travel have their own ways to celebrate. They gather in outdoor areas and local mosques for sermons and prayers, dressing up in their finest clothes.
In addition to the prayer ceremonies, people also have festive meals on Eid el Kabir. Usually, an animal sacrifice is required, where the animal represents Ishmael who was almost sacrificed by Ibrahim. Some of the meat is to be eaten by people who made the sacrifice, while the rest is to be given out to the poor.
Some local governments even give out animals and other food to the poor, so that they too could have a happy Eid.