Gustav Adolfsdagen

While I am writing about holidays, I would like to mention that today is also GustavAdolfsdagen in Sweden. Gustavus Adolphuswas Sweden’s greatest king. Under his rule Sweden became, unlikely as it might seem, one of the greatest powers in Europe. Unfortunately, he was killed on this day in 1632 during the Thirty-Years War.

King Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden
Image via Wikipedia

. He is also a major character in Eric Flint‘s 163x alternate history series.

Eid al-Adha

Today is the first day of the Islamic holiday Eid al-Adha or Feast of Sacrifice. This three day festival is a commemoration of Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son. The story told in the Koran is much the same as in Genesis except that Abraham’s son Ishmael is the intended victim.

Eid al-Adha decorations
Image by zz77 via Flickr

102. Then, when (the son) reached (the age of) (serious) work with him, he said: “O my son! I see in vision that I offer thee in sacrifice: now see what is thy view!” (The son) said: “O my father! do as thou art commanded: thou will find me, if Allah so wills, one practicing Patience and Constancy!”

103. So when they had both submitted their wills (to Allah), and He had laid Him prostrate on his forehead (for sacrifice),

104. We called out to him, “O Abraham!

105. “Thou hast already fulfilled the vision!” — thus indeed do We reward those who do right.
106. For this was obviously a trial —

107. And We ransomed him with a momentous sacrifice:

108. And We left (this blessing) for him among generations (to come) in later times:

109. “Peace and salutation to Abraham!”

110. Thus indeed do We reward those who do right.

111. For he was one of Our believing Servants. (37:102-111)

Muslims generally celebrate this occasion with prayers, sacrificing an animal, usually a cow but can be any domestic animal, and feasting. About a third of the meat is given to the poor. This holiday also marks the end of the Hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca that every able-bodied Muslim that can afford it must undertake.I missed the beginning of the Hajj this year. Oh well.