American vs. Arabic Holidays Unit


Americanvs. Arabic Holidays


Public Holidays are days set aside to celebrate achievements orcommemorate certain occurrences as defined by various cultures. TheAmerican and Arabic cultures have different holidays that demonstratethe depth of their cultures and way of life. The Arabic holiday ofEid al-Adha and the American Memorial Day capture these differencesand similarities. This essay summarizes the similarities anddifferences between the Memorial Day and Eid al-Adha public holidays.

The Memorial Day honors the nations’ dead heroes starting from theCivil War onwards. It is celebrated on the Monday of the last week ofMay every year. The holiday also marks the beginning of summer inNorth America. This holiday is different from the Arabic Eid al-Adhathat involves four days of celebration and feasting to commemorateAbraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Isaac/Isaak as narratedin the Holy Quran (Islamic holidays, 2016).

Therefore, Eid al-Adha has its origins in Islam as a religion. Thisbelief system plays a significant role in influencing the Arabicculture. On the contrary, the Memorial Day has its roots in thesecular American identity. The Memorial Day celebrates the history ofthe country and the sacrifices made by American men and women inpursuit of democracy and preservation of human freedoms in the US andaround the world. Unlike Eid al-Adha that is celebrated by allMuslims around the world, the Memorial Day is recognized only in theUS. Americans mark the holiday by placing flags and flowers on gravesof military men while Arabs celebrate theirs through feasting(Memorial Day 2016).

However, these holidays are also similar in one way or another. Theseholidays recognize achievements and sacrifices made by men. For Eidal-Adha, Abraham was willing to sacrifice his son as ordered by Godwhile American soldiers sacrificed their lives for the country. Thus,both holidays recognize commitment to a belief.

As discussed above, the two holidays differ and match in someaspects. They are established ways of marking different cultures. Assuch, the Memorial Day and Eid al-Adha illustrate American and Arabiccultures respectively, and how they match and differ.


Islamic holidays(2016). Islamic calendar and festivals, Retrieved from,

Memorial Day (2016).History of Memorial Day. Retrieved from,