Thousands of Muslim worshipers gather for Eid al-Adha prayers in Jerusalem

Thousands of Muslim worshipers gathered in the al-Aqsa compound in Jerusalem early Saturday to perform prayers marking Eid al-Adha, one of the biggest holidays of the Islamic calendar.

Known as the “Feast of Sacrifice,” the revered observance coincides with the final rites of the annual Hajj in Saudi Arabia. It’s a joyous occasion, for which food is a hallmark.

Russia’s war in Ukraine has sent food prices soaring and has caused widespread hardship across the Middle East, with many say they can’t afford the livestock for the ritual sacrifice.

Desperation over the cost of living has undercut the typically booming holiday trade in goats, cows and sheep.

Eid al-Adha commemorates the Quranic tale of Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice Ismail as an act of obedience to God.

Before he could carry out the sacrifice, God provided a ram as an offering. In the Christian and Jewish telling, Abraham is ordered to kill another son, Isaac.

Many Muslims celebrate the four-day feast by ritually slaughtering livestock and distributing the meat among family, friends and the needy.

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