Another Islamic holiday starts tomorrow, this one called Eid Al Adha or Greater Eid or Festival of Sacrifice. The festival to commemorate the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Isma'il) as an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a ram to sacrifice instead. The meat is divided into three parts. The family retains one third of the share; another third is given to relatives, friends and neighbors; and the other third is given to the poor and needy. (and yes, I pulled this off Wikipedia!)
Although this is called 'big' Eid, I've heard less about it than Eid Al Fitr ('little' Eid), maybe because little Eid comes after the fasting month of Ramadan and as such is a bigger deal? Or maybe because I'm working full time now and not reading the newspaper as regularly or trolling the Abu Dhabi websites and circulars for things to keep me busy. :) What I do know is that the official holiday starts tomorrow (Sat) and we get 3 days off of work (Sun-Tue). Five days off (Fri-Tue) - can't say I've ever had a holiday like that back in the US.
When you work for an airline, these holidays are all about where you plan to travel. For the past week, the most common small talk has been around where everyone is spending Eid. It's really not much of an option to stay home for 5 days when you have such amazing flight discounts so most employees jet off somewhere or have friends or family visit them. (Our discounts also include spouse, parents, parents-in-law and children up to age 30 and 10 supplemental tickets per year for anyone you want). When I joined Etihad in September, the policy was that you had to be working for 3 months before any of your flight discounts kicked in, but just this week, they changed things so your immediate family discounts are valid from day one - nice change but a few weeks too late to affect our holiday plans.
So what are the Stolls doing this Big Eid? We cashed in some leftover Delta Sky Miles and are off to France for the weekend. From Paris, we'll take the high speed train to Bordeaux and spend almost 3 days wine tasting, eating and relaxing. The high temps listed are around 60F so we're looking forward to having to wear socks and sweaters! (the weather is MUCH better here now, but still in the high 80s) Today we'll be packing, cleaning the apartment and determining exactly how we'll bring our allotment of 6 bottle of wine back with us from France. :)
Enjoy your weekend be it long or short! Eid Mubarak!
(Below is one of the emails we got for Eid - sending email or card greetings is common at all the Eid holidys. I thought this one particularly beautiful so thought I'd share it.)