31 July 2020
In Pictures: Muslims in Moscow celebrate Eid al-Adha

In Pictures: Muslims in Moscow celebrate Eid al-Adha

Sergey Bobylev / TASS

Muslims around the world have begun celebrating the annual festival of Eid al-Adha – the Festival of Sacrifice – marking the end of the hajj season, or season of pilgrimage. Here's how Muslims in Moscow marked the occasion.

Festive prayers were limited to the Moscow Cathedral Mosque, which was closed to worshippers due to the coronavirus pandemic, with religious services restricted to clergy members. Believers were encouraged to pray at home, spend the day with their families and listen to online broadcasts of religious sermons.

Eid al-Adha is the second major Muslim festival after Eid al-Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting.

The festival marks the end of the hajj season, or pilgrimage season, falling on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah, the 12th and last month of the Muslim lunar calendar. Animals – typically goats, lambs or cows – are still sacrificed to mark the occasion. The sacrifice comes with an element of charity, as the person paying for the sacrifice is required to distribute part of it to others.

This year's Hajj has been dramatically scaled back because of the coronavirus, with international visitors banned from coming to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

Only 10,000 pilgrims are expected to make the journey, as opposed to around two million annually. Those present were subject to virus tests and temperature checks as they arrived in Mecca.

Believers are also required wear masks at all times and undergo mandatory quarantines before and after the pilgrimage.