Saudi Arabia will celebrate Eid-ul-Azha, the feast of the sacrifice, on July 9, as the crescent moon of Zilhajj was sighted Wednesday.
The sighting of the crescent moon of Zilhajj, the month in which the hajj pilgrimage takes place, was confirmed at the Tamir Observatory, near Riyadh, in the evening, according to the Saudi Supreme Court.
So, Thursday will be the first day of Zilhajj, the twelfth and final month of the Islamic calendar.
The first day of Eid-ul-Azha, the second-largest religious festival for Muslims, will be on July 9 in most Arab and Muslim countries while many Southeast and South Asian countries will start the celebrations on July 10.
Usually, the crescent of Zilhajj is first sighted in Saudi Arabia and then a day later in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and some other countries.
Today, Pakistan, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Hong Kong and Brunei announced July 10 as the first day of Eid-ul-Azha.
The religious festival marks the end of hajj and commemorates Prophet Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail on Allah's will.
Prophet Ibrahim was eventually given a lamb to sacrifice. So, Muslims perpetuate the tradition by slaughtering a lamb or a cow and sharing the meat with people in need.
This year's hajj will start on July 6 and Eid-ul-Azha will be three days later in Saudi Arabia.
Muslims around the world celebrate Eid-ul-Azha almost the same way with the morning being marked with Eid prayers and the slaughtering of sacrificial animals. The celebration last for three days.
Source: United News of Bangladesh