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Palestinians celebrate on the first day of Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha at at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem’s Old City.

[Ammar Awad/Reuters]

Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid al-Adha religious holiday, which, in Arabic, means the “festival of the sacrifice” and marks the end of Hajj, the five-day pilgrimage Muslims undertake to cleanse the soul of sins and instil a sense of equality and brotherhood.

Eid al-Adha commemorates the story of the Muslim Prophet Ibrahim’s test of faith when he was commanded by God to sacrifice his son, Ismail.

The belief holds that God stayed his hand, sparing the boy and placing a ram in his place.

The day is marked with the sacrifice of an animal, usually a goat, sheep or cow, and the distribution of the meat among neighbours, family members and the poor.

This year, the holiday – which starts on Tuesday – comes as many countries battle the Delta COVID variant first identified in India, prompting some to impose new restrictions or issue appeals for people to avoid congregating and follow safety protocols.

Palestinian women pose for a picture by the Al-Aqsa Mosque as they mark the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha. [Ammar Awad/Reuters]

Iraqi Muslims offer Eid al-Adha prayers on the street outside the Abu Hanifa mosque in Baghdad’s Adhamiya district. [Thaier Al-Sudani/Reuters]

Kids play with balloons after Eid al-Adha prayers inside al-Azhar Mosque in Cairo, Egypt. [Mohamed Abd El Ghany/Reuters]

Palestinians visit a cemetery in Gaza City to offer prayers to their relatives on Eid al-Adha. [Ali Jadallah/Anadolu]

A child stands among people attending Eid al-Adha prayers in Sanaa, Yemen. [Yahya Arhab/EPA]

Muslims after performing Eid al-Adha prayers at Tahsin Sorani Mosque in Kirkuk, Iraq. [Ali Makram Ghareeb/Anadolu]

Worshippers perform Eid al-Adha prayers at al-Farah Square in Khartoum, Sudan. [Mahmoud Hjaj/Anadolu]

Muslims leave after attending prayers at the Kampun Alor Mosque in Dili, Timor-Leste to mark Eid al-Adha, the annual celebration known as the “festival of the sacrifice”. [Valentino Dariel Sousa/AFP]

Muslims perform Eid al-Adha prayers at a mosque in Lhokseumawe, Aceh province, Indonesia. [Zik Maulana/AP Photo]

People perform Eid al-Adha prayers at Grand Camlica Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey. [Serhat Cagdas/Anadolu]

Afghans arrive at a mosque to offer Eid al-Adha prayers in Herat, Afghanistan. [Jalil Rezayee/EPA]

People pose for a photo after performing Eid al-Adha prayers at the Dinamo Stadium in Bucharest, Romania. [Alex Nicodim/Anadolu]

Muslims gather for prayers to celebrate Eid al-Adha in Nairobi, Kenya. [Sayyid Abdul Azim/AP Photo]

Residents buy sacrificial animals at a livestock market ahead of Eid al-Adha in the Daynile district of Mogadishu, Somalia. [Feisal Omar/Reuters]

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