Eid Al-Adha 2010, Amman Jordan

Today is Eid Al-Adha in Amman, Jordan.  (And most of the rest of the Muslim world for that matter).  On this Eid (festival/holiday/ holy day) Muslims around the world sacrifice a goat or sheep (or if truly wealthy, maybe even a cow or camel) and have a feast with their family.  They also give 1/3 of the meat from the sacrifice to their extended family and 1/3 of the meat to the poor.  Early in the morning people go to the mosque for prayers and a sermon.  After this they go to one of several places of sacrifice scattered around the city.  Here the young and the old, the men and the women gather to perform this annual tradition and collect the fresh meat for eating later that day. Throughout the day there will be many visits made to both close and distant relatives and gifts of clothes and money will be given.

If they are able, parents typically give children new clothes on this Eid as well as Eid al-Fitr.  People are always dressed in their best around the time of the Eids.  Uncles are particularly generous in giving money to their neices and nephews at this time of year and it is expected that brothers (especially older ones) will give money to their sisters.  Adult nephews also give monetary gifts to their older aunts, especially if they are widowed.    At some point in the day the family comes together for a meal centering on the meat that was sacrificed in the morning.  In many ways it is a time of connecting with family and remembering God, not unlike the American observance of Thanksgiving.

Of course, the origins of this festival are in the story of Abraham ascending the mountain to sacrifice his son.   At the last minute God provides a ram for Abraham to sacrifice instead.  Muslims remember this story, shared by all three monotheistic faiths,  as they celebrate the festival of Eid al-Adha.

This morning I went out early and snapped a few pics, particularly for those who might be reading from the States and never have the opportunity to witness something like this.  Hover your mouse over the bottom of the slideshow window for controls to pause the show or move forwards or back.

(Please note: if the sight of animals being butchered is offensive or difficult for you then you may not want to watch the show.  I have tried my best to make sure there is nothing terribly bloody or shocking, but I know everyone has different tolerance levels for these sort of things).

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3 Responses

  1. Beautiful pictures.Thank you for sharing. I grew up on a farm,so the sights of animals being slaughtered does not bother me in the least. Happy EID to everyone celebrating today.

  2. Hey man, thanks for starting up again. I check every day!

    So, question. With parallels to the sacrifices given back in the B.C. days, do modern sacrifices usually involve one’s best animal? Or is it simply any animal at all?

    I would assume the latter, given that you can purchase them at the same place you sacrifice (meaning most people don’t own the livestock prior to sacrifice). Or am I reading it incorrectly?

    • Hey Larry – interesting question. I don’t have a definitive answer. Most people are not sacrificing their own livestock, but rather purchasing them from a farmer/shepherd/bedoiun. That said the animals in the pens for sacrifice all look to be in top condition. I have seen some fairly straggly looking animals in general at non-sacrifice times, so I do think there may be some idea of offering the best animals. And certainly the camels that were there were in prime condition – the one was almost white in color, which seems unusual to me – but then again i am no camel expert. Perhaps there is a Muslim reader out there who can shed some light on this matter.

      In Islam are people expected to sacrifice the best of the animals on Eid al-Adha, similar to the tradition of offerings mentions in the Torah?

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