Eid-ul-Adha, also known as the festival of sacrifice, marks the end of the annual pilgrimage (Hajj) and the year. It is in the commemoration of Hazrat Ibrahim (A.S). The unique feature of this Eid that is observed by Muslims around the world is that they sacrifice animals: goat, sheep, cow or camel or whatever they are able to afford. The meat is distributed amongst the relatives and the less fortunate; some of it is also saved for the family as it is Sunnah.
This is an amazing opportunity to visit family members, hold feasts and barbeques and this is the reason why it becomes such a joyful occasion for just about anyone. Hence, Piñata decided to do an article on how Eid is celebrated all over the world.
Different traditions follow up in different countries but they all start the day by wearing their best clothes and performing Eid prayers. For countries that allow doing the sacrifice or Qurbani openly, its people then head out in the search for Qasai’s after the prayers, as for the Nations with strict environmental-laws, people must stand and wait in the line at the slaughter houses.
In countries like USA, Canada, UK, and Australia (many others too) if Eid doesn’t fall on a weekend it’s yet again a normal day for them – of course, apart from the extra expense they have to pay at the slaughter house. There are some energy-saving-people who just send the money to their home town delegating the responsibility to family members to do it on their behalf so they don’t even have to go through the hassle of doing it themselves.
Eid day in Saudi Arab is very different from all countries since the pilgrims get done with their hajj rituals, sacrifice their animals and shave their heads. For them, this day is rather tiring and spent sleeping than worrying where or how the animal will be sacrificed. Because there are over 1.5 billion Muslims present for Hajj if each pilgrim held a knife and sacrificed the animal himself there wouldn’t be enough space and it would take days and days. The Saudi government has given these pilgrims an option of a computerized coupon to order a sacrifice and mark their Eid as ‘bloodless’ as possible. Guess the vampires would be disappointed.
Choosing what animal you desire to sacrifice is also a blessing because the poorer Indians just have to restrict themselves to a goat or a sheep and cannot sacrifice cows. Since there is a ban on the consumption of beef, the Indian-Muslims have to wait for that time of the year when they’ll be able to travel to some other country and eat Halal-beef.
For a lot of Indonesians, this Eid is considered as traveling back home to their native countries and celebrating it with their loved ones. Takbirs are recited in the streets and mosques followed by chanting and fireworks on the night of Eid. Every year they have a tradition of holding a ceremony on Eid as a symbol of their king’s generosity. A variety of food and agricultural products are arranged to resemble a mountain which is then distributed amongst the people. This is called a Gunungan; there are six types of gunungans and each contains different food for example pastries, small cakes, sticky rice, long beans or duck eggs.
Everyone has their own way of celebration. However, coming to my home town – Pakistan, Eid ul Adha is very extravagant in its traditions. Apart from the sacrifice and meaty-ness going around on that very day, the preparations for Eid start way before. The designers start launching their new ‘Eid collection’ to rip off their clients. However, it does little to steal the thunder of a Mandi during this time of the year. The main entertainment for Pakistanis is the animal market also known as the Mandi which is fully crowded with people who come there for a recreational purpose. The seller markets its animals, who are expected to do the catwalk, be at their best and show how healthy (read: fat) they are. The more fat they are, the more gosht for them to barbeque. Reminds me of the poor girl who has to be at her best during a potential marriage proposal. Let’s LOL at that comparison.
Eid also brings in business to many people like the caterers renting out their fancy colorful tents to the households who tie their animals outside in an empty plot or space. They lavishly arrange for the animals brought home by keeping them under the shade of these tents and you see the nearby kids loitering in that area, feeding the animal or playing with it.
Applying Henna is another common practice in Pakistan and all the salons are crowded the night before Eid. The salon owners get a good chance to increase their rates as people are willing to pay because its EID and they can’t afford to not get their services done on EID.
So, after the Eid prayers, usually, people go butcher (Qasai) hunting and sacrifice the animal inside their homes and if they are too much of a clean freak then they slaughter it outside. Distribution of the meat, attending the beggars, cleaning up the mess created by slaughtering and then getting rid of the strong smell of freshly cut meat is another struggle in itself that a lot of Pakistanis face.
A three-day holiday is announced by the government so people engage themselves in preparing special meaty cuisines and feasts to receive friends and family, setting up the barbeque grills and the men cooking (how just putting the meat on the grill gives them the whole credit of COOKING – I don’t know) is a common practice on these holidays.
It’s informative how we read many articles, see posts on social media or friends posting pictures about how fun their Eid was and everything, but no one ever tells the after effects of consuming so much meat continuously in lunch and dinners. Eating so much meat causes a lot of problems for a lot of us.
Some effects are the increased cholesterols, developing a uric acid problem; those already having different auto-immune diseases start to have an increase in their pains; and for some tooth-problems take a rise as well. But will they admit it to the doctors? Oh, you know, they won’t.
Here’s to hoping you have healthy and happy Eid. Team Piñata sends you all their love and prayers. Now, go leave your comments if there is something I’ve not mentioned or something unusual that happens in your area/country that we have not included; or just wish us a happy Eid, com’on guys!
Once again, Eid Mubarak!
Written by: Rabiha Yousaf