This festival is also known as Eid al-Adha and Bakra Eid (Eid of the goat) and is one of the most important festivals of Muslims.
It is the "Festival of Sacrifice" where goats or sheeps are sacrificed as an offering.
Muslims follows the willingness of Abraham (Ibrahim) to sacrifice his son Ishmael (Ismail) as an act of obedience to God, before He intervened into the situation and provided him with a sheep to sacrifice instead of his son.
The day is celebrated with grandeur as Muslims visit the houses of their friends and family and exchange gifts among themselves. Special dishes, made up of meat, mark the day.
In India, amid tight security, Kashimiris visit Eidgahs and other mosques in the Valley to offer their Eid prayers.
A large number of Kashmiris offer prayers at Jamia Mosque in Srinagar and Hazratbal shrine on the banks of Dal Lake.
Eid is also celebrated in Lucknow and other parts of Uttar Pradesh with the biggest congregation being spotted at Aishbagh Eidgah and Aasifi Masjid in Old Lucknow.
In Kolkata, the Muslim community performs 'namaz' at Red Road and various mosques, including Nakhoda Masjid and Tipu Sultan mosque.
In New Delhi, the famous Jama Masjid witnesses maximum footfall on this day.
On Tuesday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, President Pranab Mukherjee and Vice Preisdent M Hamid Ansari greeted the nation on the eve of Id-ul-Zuha.
In his message, the Prime Minister said that Id-ul-Zuha celebrates the spirit of sacrifice of Hazrat Ibrahim. The festival is an occasion to reaffirm our faith in the unity of humanity and to be charitable towards the disadvantaged and the needy.
"May this festival spread peace and harmony and bring prosperity to all," he added.
In his message the Mukherjee said, "On the occasion of Idu'l Zuha, I extend my greetings and good wishes to all fellow citizens and, in particular, to my Muslim brothers and sisters."
"The spirit of sacrifice and service is the essence of the festival of Idu'l Zuha. It is an occasion to remind ourselves of the path of selfless sacrifice and forgiveness followed by Hazrat Ibrahim and to emulate the same," said he.
"We must derive inspiration from the observance of this day and strive to foster universal brotherhood. On the occasion of Idu'l Zuha, let us remind ourselves of the unity of mankind and resolve to strive for communal harmony and peace," the President said.
"May the festival knit all the people of India in a celebration of our composite culture," he added.
In his message, Ansari said that the festival celebrates the treasured ideals of compassion, sharing and sacrifice. He has called upon them to observe this joyous occasion by spreading the message of peace, harmony and goodwill in our midst.
"I extend my greetings and good wishes to all our citizens on the auspicious occasion of Id-ul-Zuha. The festival celebrates the treasured ideals of compassion, sharing and sacrifice. Let us observe this joyous occasion by spreading the message of peace, harmony and goodwill in our midst," Ansari's message said.
Meanwhile, celebrities and politicians took it to Twitter to express their thoughts and extend their wishes to fans.
Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi greeted the nation by tweeting: "Greetings on Id-ul-Zuha. May this festival strengthen the spirit of brotherhood and unity in our society."
Sharing his thoughts, Minister of State for Human Resources Development Shashi Tharoor remarked: "The colours of the Indian flag at Palayam Mosque on BakrId: Imam Jalaluddin Mankada, EM Najeeb and yours truly. Mubarak!"
Actor Abhishek Bachchan tweeted: "EID MUBARAK!"
Filmmaker Madhur Bhandarkar tweeted: "May the divine blessings of Allah bring us hope, faith, peace,and joy forever on this auspicious occasion. Eid Mubarak."
Filmmaker Pritish Nandy said: "All I asked is we spare a thought on this auspicious day for the millions of hapless animals being killed for sacrifice... Why stretch it?"
Filmmaker Farah Khan remarked: "God has 3 answers 4 our prayers..1.YES 2.Yes,but not now n 3.there's something better planned 4 you..EID mubarak 2 all.."
Actress Preity zinta wished on this occasion by saying: "Eid Mubarak to all my friends who celebrate in India and all over the world ! Lots of love, Peace and happiness always..."
Actress Sophie Choudry tweeted: "Eid Mubarak! Allah aap ki har dua qubool karein! Dua mein yaad rakna! Lots of love and peace to u all!"
Trade Analyst Taran Adarsh wished saying: "Eid Mubarak."
Singer Shreya Ghoshal tweeted: "Sabko Eid ki dher saari mubarakbaad.:):)"
--IBNS (Posted on 16-10-2013)