How Iran Is Celebrating Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Adha in Tehran

Eid al-Adha, or Eid-e-Ghorban, falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, and lasts for four days. This festival marks the culmination of the Hajj pilgrimage and honors the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. In this post, we will guide you through the customs, traditions, and significance of Eid al-Adha to help you celebrate this holy occasion.

What is Eid al-Adha?

Eid al-Adha or Eid e-Ghorban in Persian is celebrated by the majority of pious Muslims in Iran and is a special holiday in the country, being the biggest in the late summer in the Islamic calendar. The name roughly translates to “Feast of the Sacrifice,” which commemorates what Muslims believe was Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son, Isma’il, according to God’s wish.

When is Eid al-Adha in Iran?

Eid al-Adha or Eid e-Ghorban is determined by the lunar calendar year, like in several other Muslim-majority countries. It begins on the tenth day of the Arabic calendar Dhu al Hijjah, the month of pilgrimage — when Muslims go on Hajj in Mecca.  This year the festival falls on August 12 with the weekend being two days earlier on Friday.  What this means is many people take an extra day of holiday on the day between and go out of Tehran.

How does Iran celebrate Eid e-Ghorban?

As the holiday has occurred in Iran for more than 1,000 years, eid prayers are said at local mosques across the country, where several events occur nationwide.

In Tehran, several local events occur across the city, including in some places a ritual slaughter of goats and sheep in select places. If you are in many of the main squares, you may even see some of the ritual slaughterings of animals occur.

Around Iran and Tehran, you find families, friends, and neighbors paying visits to each other, some will also give food to their surrounding area, so if you hear a knock on the door, it could be your neighbor giving food.

Salty Eid 

Eid al-Adha is known by Iranians as the “Salty Eid,” as many of the foods on offer are of the savory variety. Kebabs are popular foods around this time, so don’t expect a vegan dinner. Also, other foods, including haleem, a type of rich soup made of barley and meat are popular around the time.

Animal Sacrifice (Qurbani): The central rite of Eid al-Adha is the sacrifice of an animal, usually a sheep, goat, or cow. This tradition follows the example of Prophet Ibrahim, who was willing to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. Iranians will buy an animal for sacrifice and have it ritually slaughtered following the Eid prayer. The sacrifice must be performed by an adult Muslim of sound mind, and the animal must be healthy and free from any defects.

Charitable Giving: The meat from the sacrifice is usually divided into three parts: one-third is kept for the family; one-third is given to relatives, friends, and neighbors; and one-third is donated to the poor and needy. This act of charity is a crucial aspect of Eid al-Adha and allows all members of society to partake in the feast.

Feasting and Visiting Relatives: On Eid al-Adha, Iranians prepare and share a special meal using the meat from the sacrificed animal. Dishes like Ghormeh Sabzi, a type of Persian stew, and Kabab, are common during the feast. This is also a time for visiting relatives and close friends, exchanging gifts, and enjoying each other’s company.

Honoring the Dead: Many Iranians also visit the graves of deceased family members during Eid al-Adha as a way of paying their respects.

It’s also worth noting that Iran, being a country with rich cultural diversity, can have regional variations in how Eid al-Adha is celebrated. In essence, however, the emphasis remains on prayer, sacrifice, charity, and family — the key tenets of this important Islamic festival.

Caspian Sea
Caspian Sea

Eid e-Ghorban Getaway

If you are not into religious festivities, the Persian Gulf and the Caspian Sea are also popular getaway destinations where lots of fun can be had while the weather is warm.

Eid al-Adha, also known as Eid-e-Ghorban or the Festival of Sacrifice, is one of the most significant events in the Islamic calendar.

Understanding the Significance

Eid al-Adha, also known as Eid-e-Qurban or Bakra Eid, is deeply rooted in the story of Prophet Ibrahim. This story emphasizes the values of faith, obedience, and sacrifice, which lie at the heart of this festival. Understanding the historical context and significance of Eid al-Adha enriches our appreciation for this sacred event and its enduring messages.

Eid al-Adha Rituals in Arab Countries

From the dawn prayers (Salat al-Eid) to the ritual of Qurbani (sacrifice), Eid al-Adha is marked by several religious practices. It’s also a time of charity (Zakat al-Fitr), where Muslims are encouraged to aid those less fortunate. We’ll explore these rituals and the etiquette associated with them, ensuring you can partake in Eid al-Adha observances with understanding and respect.

Eid al-Adha Celebrations Across the Globe

Eid al-Adha is celebrated by millions of Muslims worldwide, each with unique cultural touches. From the grandeur of Mecca’s Hajj pilgrimage to family gatherings in homes across the globe, Eid al-Adha fosters a sense of unity and shared celebration. We will journey through the myriad ways Eid al-Adha is celebrated, illuminating the rich tapestry of global Muslim culture.

Preparing for Eid al-Adha: A Checklist

Whether it’s your first time celebrating Eid al-Adha or you’re a seasoned observer, our handy checklist will ensure you’re well-prepared for this holy occasion. From preparing the home and planning the Eid feast to understanding the protocols for charity and prayer, we’ve got you covered.


Eid al-Adha, or Eid-e-Ghorban, is more than just a religious event; it’s a celebration of faith, sacrifice, and humanity. By understanding its significance, following its rituals, and participating in its global celebrations, we can fully appreciate the depth and breadth of this sacred occasion.

This blog post aims to make your Eid al-Adha observance richer, more informed, and filled with a spirit of gratitude and reflection. Let’s celebrate Eid al-Adha and embrace the profound lessons it imparts, forging a path toward compassion, understanding, and unity.

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