STORY: Muslims in India’s southern Thiruvanthapuram city thronged mosques on Friday (September 01) to offer prayers and exchange pleasantries as they ushered in festivities of Eid al-Adha, or the “Festival of Sacrifice.”
The second biggest date in the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Adha will be celebrated in India on Saturday (September 02). However, coastal states like Kerala conventionally mark the festival a day ahead of its nationwide celebration.
On this day Muslims dress up in new clothes and head out of homes early in the morning to offer prayers. This is followed by a lavish feast with family and friends.
Young girls and boys, dressed up in traditional attires, listened intently as sat with their parents during the traditional sermons by clerics. People hugged each other soon after the prayers.
A local resident, Dr. Sahadulla, said it was a double celebration for the people of Kerala as Eid al-Adha had come with the harvest festival of Onam.
Meanwhile, people in Srinagar, the capital city of Indian Kashmir, flocked to markets for last minute shopping.
Markets came alive and traders did brisk business as buyers crowded at sweet and clothes shops.
The “Festival of Sacrifice” marks the end of the Haj season and is celebrated annually on the 10th day of the 12th and last month of the lunar Islamic calendar.
According to religious beliefs the festival also coincides with the anniversary of the day when ‘Quran’ was declared complete and therefore many Muslims undertake Haj (pilgrimage) to Mecca on this day.
In India, Muslims mainly sacrifice the goat, which is why the occasion is famously known as Bakhr or Bakri-Eid in Urdu. One third of the meat is offered to the poor, one third given to relatives and the rest is shared among close family.