Manila, Philippines — The Philippines has declared June 28, 2023, as a regular holiday nationwide in observance of Eid’l Adha or the Feast of Sacrifice. The announcement was made by Ferdinand Marcos Jr., the President of the Philippines, following the recommendation of the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos.

Executive Secretary Lucas Bersamin signed Proclamation No. 258 on June 13, declaring June 28 as a regular holiday throughout the country. Eid’l Adha is one of the two main holidays celebrated by Muslims worldwide and is considered holier than Eid’l Fitr, which marks the end of Ramadan. The feast commemorates Abraham’s obedience when he was told to sacrifice his son Ishmael, whose life was later spared when Allah sent a ram to be sacrificed instead.

Back in 2002, the Philippine government declared Eid’l Adha as a regular holiday exclusively for the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) through Republic Act No. 9849. Fast forward to today, Eid’l Adha is now recognized as a national holiday throughout the country for almost a decade. The exact dates for the celebration of Eid’l Fitr and Eid’l Adha are determined according to the Islamic calendar or astronomical calculations based on recommendations made by the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos. This body follows the guidance of Saudi Arabia’s highest religious authority to ensure the accuracy of the dates.

Eid’l Adha, also known as the Feast of Sacrifice, is a significant event in the Islamic faith. It marks the conclusion of the annual Muslim pilgrimage to Mecca, otherwise known as the Hajj. The celebration takes place on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah in the Islamic lunar calendar, which is approximately 70 days after Ramadan ends.

The roots of Eid’l Adha can be traced back to the story of Ibrahim and his willingness to sacrifice his son, Ismail, as a demonstration of his devotion to Allah. Ultimately, Allah intervened and replaced Ismail with a sheep, sparing him from sacrifice. Today, Muslims around the world commemorate this event by sacrificing an animal, commonly a sheep or goat, and then distributing its meat to family, friends, and those in need.

The designation of June 28 as a national holiday to celebrate Eid’l Adha is an important step in recognizing the Philippines’ Muslim population and their traditions. This decision serves as a demonstration of the country’s respect for the Muslim community and helps promote a greater sense of unity among Filipinos of different faiths.

Moreover, this declaration is expected to foster greater interfaith dialogue and understanding. By acknowledging and celebrating cultural and religious diversity, it is hoped that this gesture will lead to more respect and tolerance among all members of society. Ultimately, the recognition of Eid’l Adha as a national holiday is a positive development that highlights the importance of inclusivity and acceptance in the Philippines.