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Syrian Refugees Celebrate Eid Al-Adha Far Away From Home

SANLIURFA, TURKEY - SEPTEMBER 24:  Syrian refugees holding on life in the Suleyman Sah accommodation for refugees in Akcakale
SANLIURFA, TURKEY - SEPTEMBER 24: Syrian refugees holding on life in the Suleyman Sah accommodation for refugees in Akcakale district in Sanliurfa perform prayer during the Eid al-Adha celebrations on September 24, 2015. Muslims around the world celebrate the Eid al-Adha, also called the Feast of the Sacrifice, to commemorate Prophet Abraham's readiness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. (Photo by Muslum Etgu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

Muslims around the world started celebrating Eid al-Adha, known as the Feast of Sacrifice, on Thursday. Eid al-Adha, which commemorates Prophet Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God, is usually an opportunity for Muslim families to come together and enjoy home-cooked meals.

This year, however, hundreds of thousands of Syrian refugees are spending Eid al-Adha away from home. Four million Syrians have fled the country since civil war broke out in 2011, and for many of them this is not the first time they're commemorating Eid away from their families.

Many Syrian refugees have marked the holiday while traveling to Europe or in refugee camps on the continent. The United Nations refugee agency estimates that 40 percent of the 490,000 refugees and migrants that have arrived in Europe so far this year are Syrian.

A group of refugees performed Eid al-Adha prayers in the town of Edrine, Turkey, as they waited for the borders to open so that they could continue their journey to western Europe. In a registration camp at the Macedonian-Greek border, local volunteers gave out the traditional sweet “baklava” to migrants and refugees, after a Macedonian Imam led the Eid al-Adha prayers. Some spent yet another night traveling on the eve of one of the most important Islamic holidays.

  • A refugee performs Eid al-Adha prayers at the Sarayici Er Square in Edirne, Turkey, on the way to western Europe on Sept. 24.
    BERK OZKAN/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
    A refugee performs Eid al-Adha prayers at the Sarayici Er Square in Edirne, Turkey, on the way to western Europe on Sept. 24.
  • Refugees perform prayers during the Eid al-Adha celebrations as they wait for the borders to be opened at the Sarayici Er Squ
    BERK OZKAN/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
    Refugees perform prayers during the Eid al-Adha celebrations as they wait for the borders to be opened at the Sarayici Er Square in Edirne, Turkey, on Sept. 24.
  • Syrian Muslim refugees at the Suleyman Sah accommodation for refugees in Akcakale district in Sanliurfa, Turkey, sacrifice an
    AYKUT UNLUPINAR/ANADOLU AGENCY/GETTY IMAGES
    Syrian Muslim refugees at the Suleyman Sah accommodation for refugees in Akcakale district in Sanliurfa, Turkey, sacrifice animals during the Eid al-Adha celebrations on Sept. 24.
  • A Macedonian Imam delivers a speech to migrants and refugees, to mark the Eid-al-Adha festival, at a registration camp near G
    NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
    A Macedonian Imam delivers a speech to migrants and refugees, to mark the Eid-al-Adha festival, at a registration camp near Gevgelija, close to the Macedonian-Greek border on Sept. 24.
  • A migrant greets a Macedonian Imam during a prayer to mark the Eid-al-Adha festival at a registration camp near Gevgelija, cl
    NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
    A migrant greets a Macedonian Imam during a prayer to mark the Eid-al-Adha festival at a registration camp near Gevgelija, close to the Macedonian-Greek border on Sept. 24.
  • Volunteers give migrants and refugees "baklava," a traditional sweet, as they mark the Eid-al-Adha festival at a registration
    NIKOLAY DOYCHINOV/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
    Volunteers give migrants and refugees "baklava," a traditional sweet, as they mark the Eid-al-Adha festival at a registration camp near Gevgelija, close to the Macedonian-Greek border on Sept. 24.
  • A woman speaks with a child in the Serbian-Croatian border village of Bapska, as migrants and refugees wait for a bus to the
    ELVIS BARUKCIC/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
    A woman speaks with a child in the Serbian-Croatian border village of Bapska, as migrants and refugees wait for a bus to the Croatian-Hungarian border on Sept. 23.
  • Migrant children near the Serbian-Croatian border village of Bapska, close to the eastern Croatian town of Ilok, on Sept. 23.
    ELVIS BARUKCIC/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
    Migrant children near the Serbian-Croatian border village of Bapska, close to the eastern Croatian town of Ilok, on Sept. 23.
  • A helper distributes food to migrants and refugees, in the Serbian-Croatian border village of Bapska, who wait for a bus to t
    ELVIS BARUKCIC/AFP/GETTY IMAGES
    A helper distributes food to migrants and refugees, in the Serbian-Croatian border village of Bapska, who wait for a bus to the Croatian-Hungarian border on Sept. 23.
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