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Eid-ul-Azha (10,11,12 Zil-Hajj)

ImageThis event corresponds to the great sacrifice made by the Prophet Abraham to God. This is the most happening event of the Muslim year. It is marked with the sacrifice of livestock such as goats, cows, and camels. The meat obtained from the animal is divided into 3 parts: one is for personal consumption, one part is distributed amongst relatives and friends and the third is distributed among the poor.
The events leading up to the big day are no less than a series of festivals. From the small grass and feed shops at every street corner to the large, sprawling cattle markets being set up on the outskirts of the city, the event is all about buying, feeding, and walking the animals that are to be slaughtered on the big day. As the day approaches, the amount of animals on the streets increases dramatically, and almost every street in the city can be seen teaming with cattle as though they were being bred in the very homes.The real fun is the night-time guarding of the animals. This has become an increasing concern after several events of cattle being stolen from the baraas they were kept in. Groups of young men set up small tents near large cattle baraas, with supplies for the night, including cups of tea, cigarettes, decks of cards, and of course motorbikes, to roam the city and keep watch.
The activities on the actual day of Eid (10th Zil-Hajj) are limited to running after butchers to help get the animal slaughtered and dividing the meat according to the above-mentioned purposes. This continues for another two days, as the number of butchers in the city is too few to cope with the demand of the festival, and also because some people, according to various religious beliefs, prefer slaughtering their animals on the 2nd or 3rd day of Eid (11th or 12th Zil-Hajj).
All camels are usually slaughtered on the third day and the whole neighborhood as well as people from nearby areas gather around to see the camel being sacrificed, as this is a sight they do not get to see very often.


 

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