Biden says Eid al-Adha carries 'special meaning' amid pandemic

President BidenJoe BidenCDC chief clarifies vaccine comments: 'There will be no nationwide mandate' Overnight Defense: First group of Afghan evacuees arrives in Virginia | Biden signs Capitol security funding bill, reimbursing Guard | Pentagon raises health protection level weeks after lowering it Biden urges local governments to stave off evictions MORE and first lady Jill BidenJill BidenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden sets new vaccine mandate as COVID-19 cases surge First lady leaves Walter Reed after foot procedure Biden backs effort to include immigration in budget package MORE on Monday marked the beginning of the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha, saying in a statement that it has "a special meaning" amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

"Jill and I send our warmest greetings to those celebrating Eid al-Adha around the world," Biden said. "The Eid traditions and Hajj rituals of providing for those less fortunate in commemoration of Abraham and his son’s devotion to God carry a special meaning this year as we continue to navigate the challenges of COVID-19 and work to respond to and recover from the global pandemic."

Eid al-Adha translates to "Festival of Sacrifice" in Arabic, and celebrates the culmination of the annual hajj pilgrimage to Mecca. Some families who can afford to do so will sacrifice an animal such as a sheep, goat or cow and divide the meat amongst themselves, friends, neighbors and those in need.

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Biden pointed to the U.S.'s own sense of charity with the donation of around 500 million doses of COVID-19 vaccines.

"The American people are proud to be helping lead the fight to end COVID-19 globally by donating more than half a billion vaccines to countries around the world, including Muslim-majority nations. We must all work together to save lives and end this pandemic everywhere," he said.

He also made note of the hajj and how it serves as a symbol of the "shared roots of the world’s Abrahamic faiths."

"The United States is committed to working with the international community to emerge stronger from the pandemic, and thousands of Muslim Americans are among those eager to perform the pilgrimage next year, God willing," Biden said. "On behalf of the American people, we wish all those celebrating a safe and wonderful holiday. Eid Mubarak."