Friday, December 12, 2008

Eid al-Adha

So, we've just finished Eid al-Adha (also known as the Festival of Sacrifice or the Big Eid) in Sudan, so I thought I'd write a little bit about what has been going on.

The Muslim calendar is lunar, so the dates of holidays aren't fixed. Because the lunar calendar is shorter than the solar calendar, holidays fall about eleven days earlier each year. This year's Eid started on December 8th (which actually means at sunset on Dec. 7), and it runs for three or more days. Eid al-Adha follows the Hajj, which is the pilgrimage to Mecca.

The main event of the Big Eid is the sacrifice of a goat or sheep at some point during the holiday. It forms the basis for a big meal for the family and some of the meat should also be given to neighbours and people in need.

Even my local massage place got into the spirit of things, as I found when I went for a massage on Sunday evening. They had a sheep tethered in the middle of the garden, and one of the resident cats was very curious.

Although he was pretty nervous, I did get close enough to pat the sheep a bit. As you can see from the photos, the local sheep don't grow much of a fleece (but they do have a long tail!) I don't think I'll be able to spin yarn from local fleece. :(

I didn't take any photos, but on my way to work the morning of Eid, there were men sacrificing animals in front of their houses, and you could smell fires burning all day long. As it's a time for family, I didn't get to experience the feast for myself, but I did get a day off work!

1 comment:

Shan said...

Cool - and it must be weird, people sacrificing animals in their yard.