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Khaleej Times

ABU DHABI, Dec 30: Eid Al Adha is a festival of sacrifice. Word 'Adha' comes from 'Adhiya' meaning 'sacrifice'.

'Eid' is derived from  word 'Aad' that refers to an event that happens regularly every year. This holy occasion is a message to mankind to give up hatred and ill feelings and try their best to be  forgiving. It is a time for Muslims to strengthen their social relations and rearrange their relationship with people, especially the next of kin and spend much more time with their families and friends and make them happy.

In Islam sacrifice of animals is binding on the families that can afford it. Eid Al Adha is celebrated in all Arab and Muslim countries with different traditions, yet with one spiritual feeling.

Characterised by a high sense of hospitality, festivities are nearly the same in the Middle East countries while in Iraq and Syria visiting graveyards on the first day of Eid is a tradition. In Palestine they organise a small festival for martyrs.

After offering Eid prayers, families gather in one house and enjoy grilled and fried dishes and eastern sweats. They distribute meat among close relatives, needy people and the neighbours. Children are the most fortunate people during Eid as elders give them money and gifts or 'Eidiya' and a vast plots of land are made ready for them to enjoy different traditional and modern games.

Indian celebrations

In India, most of the Muslims, even the poor ones, are very keen to take part in Eid Al Adha festivities by sacrificing animals. They strongly believe that slaughtering animals is the most important part of the celebrations and the holiest rite that they should not miss.

Poor people share a cow while others buy goat, sheep or lamb. They prefer buying animals two nights before Eid when their  prices in the livestock market are down. Others wait until the first day of Eid to buy at the lowest price. People usually do not buy new clothes on Eid Al Adha as the amount set aside to buy sacrificial animal leave them with no money to buy new clothes.

Eid prayer in India is held early in the morning half an hour after the sunrise. After prayer, people start looking for butchers who are usually paid in advance to ensure timely slaughter. As per the tradition families distribute meat among relatives, close neighbours and friends. The first thing that they cook in the morning is liver of the sacrificial animal. Lunch is mainly served a little late around 3pm.

Another favourite traditional dish on Eid Al Adha for Indians is that cooked on the second day of Eid. It is a special soup known as 'nihra' which is made of trotters and served with a special bread called 'kulcha' or 'nan'.

In some families their washermen claim feet and head of the animal. Entrails are also cooked or given to washermen or the barbers. Most of the dishes during Eid are made of meat. The skin of the slaughtered animal is usually given for charity.

In the neighbouring Pakistan, Eid Al Adha is a family occasion. It is more of a strong tradition than a sacrifice and poor people share slaughtered animal and feel that they are taking part in the festivities.

The focus on Eid is mainly on the broader meaning of sacrifice. After offering Eid prayer and slaughtering animals, families divide meat into three parts; one part for needy people and neighbours, one part for relatives and the third for the family.

People enjoy slaughter by having three meals with close relatives, friends and the beloved ones. Few people buy new clothes for small children because unlike Eid Al Fitr families concentrate more on slaughter.


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