Thiruvanthapuram [India], Sept. 12 : With the Muslim community in Kerala observing Eidal-Adha, or the "Festival of Sacrifice", several devotees and revellers were seen thronging the mosques today to offer prayers and also greet each other.
Eid al-Adha is to be celebrated in India on September 13th, however, coastal states like Kerala conventionally mark the festival a day ahead of its nationwide celebration.
On the occasion, Muslims deck up in new clothes and offers prayers early in the morning, which is followed by a big feast with family and friends.
"On this festive day, I pray that people are able to epitomise brotherhood and live in harmony," said a cleric, Suhaiv Maulavi.
Eid al-Adha commemorates the Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on God's command.
"It's a great feeling after thousands of years, we still, all Muslim community still keep that memory (of Prophet's devotion) and celebrate Eid.
The message of the Eid is the communal harmony, the unity and the sacrifice which we make for others," said a devotee, E.M.
Majeed. According to religious beliefs the festival also coincides with the anniversary of the day when 'Quran' was declared complete and therefore many Muslims undertake Haj (pilgrimage) to Mecca on this day.
The occasion also sees the slaughtering of goats, which is why the name 'Bakhr or Bakri-Eid' , where one third of the flesh is given to relatives, one third to the poor and the rest is shared between the family.