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New York City Public Schools Close For Muslim Holy Day For First Time

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) -- New York City public schools were closed Thursday in observance of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha.

This was the first time the school system that serves 1.1 million pupils closed for a Muslim holiday.

Earlier this year, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced public schools would close to observe the Muslim holy days of Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr.

The decision made New York City the largest the largest school district in the nation to recognize the two holidays on the official school calendar.

Eid al-Adha is known as the Feast of the Sacrifice, commemorating the willingness of Ibrahim -- Abraham to Christians and Jews -- to sacrifice his son.

De Blasio said the change means that Muslim families won't be forced to choose between observing the holidays and sending their kids to school.

The city's schools were also closed on Wednesday for the Jewish holiday Yom Kippur.

On Thursday, Schools Chancellor Carmen Farina attended a celebration of Eid-al-Adha at the Children's Museum of Manhattan.

An exhibit on Muslim cultures is expected to open at the museum in February.

(TM and © Copyright 2015 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2015 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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