WASHINGTON, Oct. 12, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- On Tuesday, October 15 , American Muslims will mark the end of the yearly pilgrimage to Mecca, or Hajj, with communal prayers and celebrations at locations around the country.
The prayers and the holiday that follows are called Eid ul-Adha ( EED-al-ODD-ha), or "festival of the sacrifice."
Eid ul-Adha also 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.[NOTE: For actual pilgrims, the rites of Hajj continue for some time after the Eid prayers.] WHEN: Tuesday, October 15 - The prayers are held in the 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 CAIR chapters or other Muslim organizations for details about Eid celebrations. CAIR chapters can be found here: http://cair.com/cair-chapters.html Local Muslim institutions can be found here: http://islamicfinder.org/ 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. 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. HAJJ BACKGROUNDER: