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A guide to Eid al-Adha 2012 in Qatar


Eid al-Adha, the annual Muslim holiday that coincides with Hajj, officially starts tomorrow, but for many in Doha, vacation has already begun.

Many typically travel during the holiday, but here are some details about what’s going around town for those who are staying put.

When is it?

Eid al-Adha is typically celebrated for three days. This year, it starts at sundown tonight (according to the Islamic Lunar calendar) and runs through Sunday, Oct. 28. 

But government offices (and some private companies) will be taking a longer holiday because Eid falls on the weekend this year. See below for official hours.

What’s it about?

Eid al-Adha, literally the “feast of the sacrifice,” marks the day during Hajj that Muslims sacrifice an animal (sheep, goat, cow, camel) as something of an offering to God as the Prophet Abraham once did. The meat is then distributed amongst themselves, family and friends.

Alternatively, many pay the cost of an animal to a charity like Qatar Red Crescent or Islamic Relief.

Where can I slaughter an animal?

Mawashi, the government-organized meat and livestock company, will be organizing 11 slaughterhouses for the occasion: 

  • Five at the Central Market area in Abu Hamour;
  • One each in Al Rayyan, Al Muitheir, Al Shamal, and Al Khor; and 
  • Two more facilities at the Central Market for camels

Contrary to popular belief (and practice), the slaughtering of animals is not allowed at homes, in car parks or other public places for sanitary and hygiene reasons. The Ministry of Municipality will be deploying inspectors to ensure its regulations are followed.

What about Eid prayer?

Similar to the Eid al-Fitr holiday that follows Ramadan, Muslims begin the day with an early morning prayer, and then spend their time visiting friends and family.

This year, it will be held at 5:55am at some 277 mosques and prayer grounds in different parts of the country. Awqaf has said that 21 places will have special arrangements for women.

What’s closed this week?

  • Most government offices are closed for 10 days, from Oct. 25 to Nov. 3.
  • MOI services, including the travel documents and traffic departments, as well as passport services, will work from 8am to noon on weekdays.
  • Banks will be closed for five days starting today and will reopen on Tuesday, Oct 30.
  • HMC-affiliated hospitals will have special Eid timings – see the schedule here.

Will there be fireworks?

Yes! Katara will be putting on fireworks for three nights, starting on Friday night and running from 8:30pm to 8:45pm.

Katara will also host a number of exhibits and performances this week, as well as offer bungee jumping starting on Saturday. 

What other events are going on?

Qatar Tourism Authority has announced loads of activities across malls in Doha, Wakrah and Al Khor, including parades, magic shows and breakdancing performances.

It has also set up entertainment at Katara, Souq Waqif, the National Theatre, the Museum of Islamic Art, the Heritage Village, the Pearl, and even the Aqua Park. 

Less typically, there will also be a Dora The Explorer live show at Aspire Zone starting today, and the Russian Ballet will perform tomorrow at Qatar National Convention Center.

Here’s QTA’s full schedule (click fullscreen to read it):

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What do you plan to do over Eid?

Credit: Photo of a sheep tied up in Dafna by Omar Chatriwala

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