Millions of Iranian Muslims across the country have celebrated the Eid al-Adha (the Feast of Sacrifice), which marks the culmination of the annual Hajj pilgrimage.
Iranians flocked to mosques and open grounds on Thursday to participate in celebrations marking the auspicious occasion, which is one of the most significant festivals on the Muslim calendar.
A mass prayer is also scheduled to be held in the Iranian capital, Tehran, with people and high-profile officials of the country in attendance. Ayatollah Seyyed Ahmad Khatami led the Eid al-Adha prayers.
Muslims traditionally celebrate Eid al-Adha with the sacrifice of sheep, cattle, camels and other livestock. The act commemorates Prophet Ibrahim or Abraham (PBUH)’s submission to divine order to sacrifice his son, Ismail (PBUH). Just before sacrificing his son, God provided Prophet Abraham with a ram to sacrifice instead after he successfully passed the divine test.
Prayers, celebrations elsewhere in the world
Millions of Muslims around the world also celebrate Eid al-Adha on Wednesday.
The major rituals of the Hajj are performed during a five-day period from the 8th through the 12th of Dhu al-Hijjah on the Muslim lunar calendar.
The Hajj pilgrimage is a religious ritual, which must be performed at least once by every able-bodied Muslim, who can afford it.