Pakistanis gearing up to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha
Islamabad, Like other Muslims countries of the world, Eid-ul-Azha [Eid-ul-Adha] or the Festival of Sacrifice which marks the end of the annual Hajj pilgrimage, is celebrated in Pakistan with religious fervor.
Muslims slaughter goats, sheep, cows and camels, following the example of Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham in Hebrew Bible) who sacrificed his son in a show of obedience to Allah. In the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Azha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah.
Pakistan has an estimated population of 200 million and about 95-98% of Pakistanis are Muslims, thus Eid-ul-Azha is a very special occasions for them.
The Eid-ul-Azha will be celebrated on Wednesday, the 22nd August 2018. The members of various households have started to roam in search of goats and sheep that will be sacrificed in the way of the Almighty on the sacred occasion.
The cattle markets have been established in all cities of the country however, most citizens are complaining about the high prices of sacrificial animals, especially goats and sheep.
Hence Eid-ul-Azha, like Eid-ul-Fitr can be called an event for the children since they are the ones who have the maximum fun on these holy days.
Kids demand for sacrificial animals started as soon as month of Eid starts. These days, they can be seen boasting about prices, colours and physical features of their animals. Children do everything to make sacrificial animals look beautiful too.
These enthusiastic children dedicatedly perform all the chores related to their animals, which include arranging for their fodder, sheltering and taking them for a walk.
There are normally three to four holidays on Eid and many events take place to celebrate the occasion.
In Pakistan men usually wear simple traditional clothes for Eid whereas women and girls wear colorful clothes with bangles but it is customary for almost everyone to wear new dress. People especially ladies and children spend last days before Eid in shopping.
No Eid celebration is completed without henna as it is a must activity for Pakistani girls and ladies to apply henna on hands on the occasion.
On Eid day special prayers offered across the country and the faithful pray for the prosperity of the country besides extending wholesome wishes for friends and family.
The traditional Eid greeting is 'Eid Mubarak', and it is frequently followed by a formal embrace.
After offering Eid prayers, the men return home wishing children, women and elders of the household 'Eid Mubarak' and eat the sweet dish known as 'Seviyan' or Sheer-Khurma (dates cooked in milk and served with wheat noodles). Also as an additional treat, a variety of dishes are cooked.
The main task on the day is to find a butcher who would slaughter the animal. To avoid any inconvenience people normally fix the time with the butcher for slaughter prior to Eid. Sometimes people have to pay hefty amount to the butchers for the job.
The meat of the scarified animal is divided into three parts, one for the family, one for the relatives and one goes into the charity.
People usually spend Eid with their dear ones and for this they could even travel to far away towns to enjoy the occasion. It is also a time for the people to put their personal grudges aside and forgive others.
After the Eid prayers, it is common for some families to visit graveyards and pray for the salvation of departed family members.
On the day special dishes are prepared from the meat and people also invite relatives to have gatherings to celebrate the day.
For the children it is a very happy day because they receive money from all the elders called as 'Eidi' to spend and enjoy. They also can receive clothes or gifts.
Local administrations on the occasion make special arrangements to remove hide and skins of the sacrificed animals. The charity organizations also request people to donate skin hides to them.
Pakistan Medical Association (PMA) has already issued a warning of Crimean-Congo Haemorrhagic Fever (Congo fever) as Congo fever cases can go high as Eid is almost around and the people getting in contact with sacrificial animals would be at risk.
Source: Islamic Republic News Agency - IRNA