What is Hari Raya Haji and Why is July 20 a Holiday?

Flickr user bvi4092. The Masjid Sultan Mosque Interior - Singapore

Hari Raya Haji commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham's) complete faith and trust in Allah.

Muslim communities all over the world observe this festival.

Hari Raya Haji is celebrated to mark the end of the haj, the holy pilgrimage to Mecca that all Muslims are encouraged to make at least once in their lifetime.

During this period, Muslims dress in their finest clothes and congregate in mosques to offer prayers. They also observe the ritual of 'korban' (sacrifice). Worshippers contribute live sheep, lambs, goats and cows, which are slaughtered by a quick slit to the jugular as prayers are recited. This act reminds them of the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to offer up even his son to God. The sacrificed animal is then cleaned and the meat carved up and distributed to worshippers and the needy.