Sunday, December 7, 2008

Happy Eid Adha!

Well, today marked the last day of Hajj and the beginning of the big eid, bairam or feast... "Eid Al Adha".

What's that you ask?

It's the time when muslims (who are able to do so) worldwide sacrifice sheep (usually sheep, but they can also be cows, goats or camels as long as they meet certain standards) in commemoration of prophet Abraham’s story with his son; how he was willing to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to god.

According to the Quran, the meat is divided into three shares, one share for the poor, one share for the relatives and neighbors, and the last to keep to oneself. It's a time in which the charitable and generous qualities of muslims are demonstrated, making an effort to see that no impoverished person is left without a share of these sacrifices.

It's also the time for family visits and receiving the "Eideyya" which is a whatever amount of money given from older generations to younger ones. I'm not sure how that started, but it's a pretty solid tradition. Which is to your advantage if you're still a "younger generation" member.

I'm sort of caught in limbo now. These holidays aren't as lucrative as they used to be.

But they're still extremely festive times.

Butcher shops hanging coloured lights all over the buildings to which they belong or if they're feeling extra frisky, they spread the lights on the lampposts throughout the whole street, loads of sheep herds appearing from god knows where, the blood puddles on the "slightly" less than perfectly paved streets, the smell of ... butchering?, seeing all these family members you don't normally meet except during these occasions, sharing huge heart-attack-inducing meals together, being asked a dozen times in 15 minutes (sometimes by the same family member) in which "school year" I'm currently in, having the young ones make chew toys out of everything reachable, older people insisting that I'm severely malnourished and forcing me to eat like it'll instantly show on my arms or something and let's not forget, the decreased water pressure because EVERYONE is finally taking a shower in celebration, wearing crisp new clothes and (compliments of the one and only choco bear) guys lining up for barber shops like they are, themselves, sheep waiting for their execution.

Yes, the good times!

So I hope all of you who celebrate this ocassion have a great one, full of everything that makes you happy.. and Eid Mubarak! =)
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