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Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha around the world (PHOTOS)
Friday, October 26th, 2012

Muslims around the world marked the beginning of Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice, on Friday.

Eid al-Adha is one of the most auspicious festivals in the Islamic calendar, when Muslims honor Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his first-born son Ishmael as an act of devotion to God, before God intervened and provided him with a ram to sacrifice instead.

Livestock ranging from sheep to cows are sacrificed in commemoration of the festival, which also coincides with the annual Hajj, when millions gather in Saudi Arabia to conduct the holy pilgrimage.

"Despite cultural differences in countries around the globe, the basic essence and goodwill that lies at the heart of Eid Al Adha remain the same," noted UAE newspaper The Khaleej Times.

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Pakistani farmers lead their goats to an animal market set up for Muslim festival of Eid-al-Adha in Islamabad on October 19, 2012. Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of Sacrifice, honors Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael on the order of God, who according to tradition then provided a lamb in the boy's place.

(FAROOQ NAEEM - AFP/Getty Images)
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An Indian goat herder feeds his goats at an animal market in the Old Quarters of New Delhi on October 22, 2012, ahead of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
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A dyed sheep stands at a Turkish animal market in the southern city of Kilis on October 23, 2012, ahead of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.

(TAUSEEF MUSTAFA - AFP/Getty Images)
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A flock of sheep feeds at an animal market in the southern Turkish city of Kilis on October 23, 2012, ahead of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha. Cows, camels, goats and sheep are traditionally slaughtered on this holy day.

(TAUSEEF MUSTAFA - AFP/Getty Images)
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A Pakistani youth stands with a goat at a livestock market in Quetta on October 23, 2012 ahead of the Muslim sacrificial festival of Eid al-Adha.

(BANARAS KHAN - AFP/Getty Images)
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Afghan shoppers throng a market in the city of Jalalabad on Octobar 24, 2012 ahead of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
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A Palestinian boy looks at goats at a local cattle market in the West Bank village of Qabatiya, near the city of Jenin, on October 24, 2012, ahead of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha.

(SAIF DAHLAH - AFP/Getty Images)
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A Syrian boy pulls a sheep just bought at a market on the outskirts of the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on October 24, 2012, as Muslims ready to celebrate the upcoming Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, one of the two most important festivals in the Muslim calender, which begins this week.

(PHILIPPE DESMAZES - AFP/Getty Images)
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Egyptian customers look at a sheep at a market in Cairo on October 24, 2012, as Muslims prepare to celebrate the upcoming Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha, one of the two most important festivals in the Muslim calender, which begins at the end of the week.

(KHALED DESOUKI - AFP/Getty Images)
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A Palestinian woman buys sweets in Gaza city, on October 25, 2012, in preparation for Eid al-Adha. Millions of Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al-Adha or "Feast of the Sacrifice", which marks the end of the annual hajj or pilgrimage to Mecca and celebrates Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son to God.

(MOHAMMED ABED - AFP/Getty Images)
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Pakistani men ride on a motorcycle as they carries animals ahead of the Muslim sacrificial festival of Eid al-Adha in Lahore on October 25, 2012.

(ARIF ALI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Pakistani Muslims travel on an overloaded train as they head to their hometowns ahead of the Muslim sacrificial festival of Eid al-Adha in Lahore on October 25, 2012.

(ARIF ALI - AFP/Getty Images)
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A Pakistani vendor sharpens knives at a stall ahead of the Muslim sacrificial festival of Eid al-Adha in Karachi on October 25, 2012.

(ASIF HASSAN - AFP/Getty Images)
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Muslims attend prayers in Jakarta on October 26, 2012, ahead of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.

(BAY ISMOYO - AFP/Getty Images)
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Officials prepare meat after slaughtering cattle and goats in Jakarta on October 26, 2012, ahead of the Muslim feast of Eid al-Adha.

(BAY ISMOYO - AFP/Getty Images)
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Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas (4th R) and other Palestinian officials perform the early morning Eid al-Adha prayer at the Palestinian Authority headquarters in the West Bank city of Ramallah on October 26, 2012.

(ABBAS MOMANI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Afghan refugees offer Eid al-Adha prayers on the outskirts of Peshawar on October 26, 2012.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
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An Afghan policeman stands guard as devotees pray during Eid al-Adha at the Shah-e Do Shamshira mosque in Kabul on October 26, 2012.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
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Afghan devotees pray during Eid al-Adha at the Shah-e Do Shamshira mosque in Kabul on October 26, 2012.

(AFP - AFP/Getty Images)
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Palestinians slaughter sheep in the West Bank city of Hebron on the first day of Eid al-Adha, on October 26, 2012.

(HAZEM BADER - AFP/Getty Images)
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Iraqi Sunni Muslims visit the al-Ghazali cemetery in Baghdad on the first day of Eid al-Adha on October 26, 2012.

(AHMAD AL-RUBAYE - AFP/Getty Images)
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Muslims pray outside the Grande Mosque of Paris on the first day of Eid al-Adha on October 26, 2012 in Paris.

(MIGUEL MEDINA - AFP/Getty Images)
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An Iraqi man prays next to the grave of a relative at the al-Ghazali cemetery in Baghdad on the first day of Eid al-Adha on October 26, 2012.

(AHMAD AL-RUBAYE - AFP/Getty Images)
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Thousands of Muslim pilgrims arrive to throw pebbles at pillars during the "Jamarat" ritual, the stoning of Satan, in Mina near the holy city of Mecca, on October 26, 2012. Pilgrims pelt pillars symbolising the devil with pebbles to show their defiance on the third day of the hajj.

(FAYEZ NURELDINE - AFP/Getty Images)
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Palestinian Muslim worshippers arrive for prayers at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem's old city on the first day of Eid al-Adha on October 26, 2012 as Muslims worldwide commemorate Eid al-Adha.

(AHMAD GHARABLI - AFP/Getty Images)
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Volunteers of Kraton Palace, known as 'Abdi Dalem', carry 'Gunungan' from Kraton Palace to the Great Mosque Kauman during the Grebeg ritual as part of celebrations for Eid al-Adha, the 'Festival of Sacrifice', on October 26, 2012 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. The tradition involves an offering of vegetables, peppers, eggs, and other items, called 'Gunungan', that are brought to the Grand Mosque. Receiving part of the Gunungan is believed to be a blessing for the year ahead.

(Ulet Ifansasti - AFP/Getty Images)
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Indonesian Muslims slaughter a cow during celebrations for Eid al-Adha, the 'Festival of Sacrifice', on October 26, 2012 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

(Ulet Ifansasti - AFP/Getty Images)
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Indonesian Muslim women attend prayer at the slopes of Mount Merapi during celebrations for Eid al-Adha, the 'Festival of Sacrifice', at Kalitengah Lor village on October 26, 2012 in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.

(Ulet Ifansasti - AFP/Getty Images)
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An Indian Kashmiri Muslim vendor sells bread at a local market ahead of Eid al-Adha in Srinagar on October 26,2012.

(ROUF BHAT - AFP/Getty Images)
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Bosnian Muslims offer Eid al-Adha prayers at the central, Gazi-Husref Bey mosque, in Sarajevo, on October 26, 2012.

(ELVIS BARUKCIC - AFP/Getty Images)
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