Dates and events to inspire assemblies - Eid ul-Adha

21st November 2008 at 00:00

What's it all about?

The second biggest festival in the Muslim calendar, celebrated on December 8 this year, is a festival of sacrifice and worship that marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, which all Muslims should do at least once.

Assembly ideas

Start by telling pupils that Eid ul-Adha is a time of sacrifice and sharing. It all started with a man called Ibrahim, known to Christians and Jews as Abraham.

Ibrahim left where he was living because he did not think people should worship idols, and went to the desert with his family. One night he dreamt that he should sacrifice Ismail, one of his sons. Ibrahim was sure this was a message from God and he had to obey.

Ibrahim told Ismail and was about to kill him when he heard a voice. It said he had shown how much he loved God and did not have to kill his son.

So they thanked God and killed a goat instead, sharing the meat with the poor, friends and family.

Tell the pupils that now people celebrate that day by going to the mosque in new clothes, afterwards enjoying special festive meals that are shared with friends, family and the poor. It is also customary to slaughter a goat or a sheep.

With older pupils, you could talk more about the importance of the Hajj pilgrimage, perhaps showing images of the vast numbers of pilgrims taking part each year. You could also invite Muslim pupils to talk about how their families celebrate the festival.

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