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Here’s How Three Young People Are Celebrating Eid al-Adha In Lockdown

The annual Feast of Sacrifice is looking very different this year.

Eid Lockdown

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For Australians in lockdown, Eid al-Adha is looking a little different this year. The annual Feast of Sacrifice, and second official holiday in the Islamic calendar, is a week of festivities running until Friday, July 23 this year.

Eid al-Adha marks the last day of the holy pilgrimage to Hajj, and honours the Prophet Abraham’s commitment to God when he offered up his son Ishmael. It’s a time of food, family, and prayer.

“Usually we do our morning prayers at the mosque, and celebrate Eid by visiting the households of family friends for the entire day,” 24-year-old Rahat told Junkee. “Each of them would usually prepare light foods since we’d basically be eating all day”.

Eid al-Adha includes sacrificing an animal like a goat, sheep, or cow, known as ‘Qurbani’. In 26-year-old Sana’s household, the meat is divvied up between her family, the community, and also shared with those less fortunate.

That community aspect isn’t happening this year because of the COVID restrictions, which is kind of sad…

“We would have barbecues in our backyard or in parks,” Sana told Junkee. “I think it’s a really good mix of Muslim tradition with Australian culture”.

With lockdowns currently in place in NSW, Victoria, and South Australia, regular traditions have been flipped with stay-at-home flair.

“That community aspect isn’t happening this year because of the COVID restrictions, which is kind of sad,” Lamya, 24, told Junkee. She will miss being able to catch up and share a meal with people she hasn’t seen in a while this year.

While she’s grateful she can spend the time with her mum and sister, some of her Muslim friends living out-of-home alone, are really feeling the isolation right now.

“You can make Eid food by yourself, but it’s such a task, and it’s really about people coming together over food that it’s not something you usually do alone,” said Lamya.

“Removing that social element doesn’t devalue Eid completely, as it’s meant to represent devotion, [but] it definitely does contrast heavily against how we would usually come together for prayers and visits,” Rahat told Junkee.

They’ll all still be getting dressed up and will call family and friends to wish everyone Eid Mubarak…

“It’s understandable given the situation and with what’s going on, but it’s definitely a change for sure.”

Sana’s family will try to replicate the festivities on a smaller scale this year to commemorate the occasion. She said they’ll all still be getting dressed up and will call family and friends to wish everyone Eid Mubarak. They decided to celebrate Eid on Saturday instead, as her entire household works during the week.

“I think this is also a time to reflect on what’s going on within our city with a lot of other Muslims locked up in their local government area in South West Sydney,” she said, also noting struggles abroad in Palestine, Yemen, and Afghanistan.

Lamya said her mum took time off work yesterday, and they spent the day hanging out, eating Biryani made specially for Eid, and chucked on a Bollywood film in the afternoon.

“This year, we celebrated by doing morning prayer with all five household members, and my mum cooked a huge feast to celebrate the occasion,” said Rahat, making the most of this year’s setbacks.