Friday, 18 October 2013

Idul Adha

Yep missed it again. I will one year get out of bed and observe the second most important festival in the Islamic calender. By observe I mean go down the road and watch the smiles on the childrens' faces as they watch goats and cows get slaughtered in the name of Ilbrahims sacrifice.

There has been more cows and goats in the local area than I have seen for a very long time and they have been tied and tethered to each for at least a week. But by Tuesday morning they had all gone, even the bones.
Goats in a make shift stable around the  corner from my home

A goat outside and inside a house

Now however barbaric you may find this, the actual reason and use of the animals is very clear. This passage from BBC schools explains it most clearly for me:
"The story of Ibrahim's sacrifice
Eid-ul-Adha celebrates the occasion when Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son Isma'il as an act of obedience to God.
The devil tempted Ibrahim by saying he should disobey Allah and spare his son. As Ibrahim was about to kill his son, Allah stopped him and gave him a lamb to sacrifice instead.
Note: This story is also found in the Jewish Torah and the Christian Old Testament (Genesis 22). Here God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, his son with Sarah. Isma’il was his son with Hagar."
And every year since goats and cattle have been killed instead. The dead animals are then stripped down and the meat is distributed to the poor and needy and so everyone gets a bag of meat. The animals don't come cheap with a cow costing upwards of 14 million rupiah or just under 800 pounds and a goat at 3 million or 170 pounds. How to buy one? Well there are phone numbers and special markets where you choose one, then they deliver it to the mosque of your choice I guess and then it is chopped up and everything given away.

It certainly is big business thats for sure.

The night before there are fireworks and drums and parades and this year the city government shut a main road to help everyone celebrate. The men in the mosques were busy shouting out prayers (I guess) all evening but it did all die down around 11pm.

The best thing really for me, was having a day off! I worked Monday and then Tuesday was a national holiday. The banks were closed and many people had decided not to work. Yovita was sent home at 2pm as the roads were closing and that was good for her as well.
What did I do with the day off? Nothing. Coffee, some shopping, sleeping and reading and that was that really.

Next month its Moslem new year on 5th so thats a double celebration of Bonfire night and happy new year for me.

Despite a lot of short comings living out here, the national holidays are plentiful and are taken on the day they fall and with 3 new years, and some many religious festivals given national status, extra days off are always around the corner. 11 public holidays in the week this year and at least 12 next year.....That can't be bad.

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