Michael P

Eid ul-Adha
December 9, 2008, 4:37 pm
Filed under: culture | Tags: , , ,

So today is Eid ul-Adha.  I woke up in anticipation, excited for the photographic opportunity.  Now, i have mixed feelings about the whole things.  I posted the non-gory pictures and there’s a gallery below that has really, really gory pictures.  you’ve been warned!

The whole reason behind Eid ul-Adha is that it commemorates the sacrifice that Ibrahim (Abraham for Jews and Christians) made when he sacrificed his son Ishmael.  Historically Judaism, Christianity, and Islam come from the same basic beginning.  They all believe that Ibrahim was called by God to be the chosen race.  The difference started when Isaac and Ishmael came onto the scene.  Christianity and Judaism believe that Isaac was the next in line for the chosen people and Islam believes that Ishmael was the next in line for the chosen people.  In the New Testament and the Torah, Abraham showed his devotion to God by getting ready to sacrifice his son Isaac.  But God intervened when he saw that Abraham was going to do it.  In the Quran, it’s the same exact story except that its Ishmael instead of Isaac.

A lot of people go back to spend time with their family for eid.  People take buses, trains, boats, cars…Its just a mass exodus from Dhaka.  Supposedly 60% of dhaka goes back to their village. Who knows if that’s true, but it is noticeably quieter.  Its quite nice.


This can’t be safe.  What would happen when (not if) the bus crashes?


yesterday the knife sharpeners were making a killing.  There were tons of these guys walking around and preparing for the slaughter.


One difficult part of getting a cow or goat and slaughtering it is that you have to get it back to your house somehow.  this guy decided to take a rickshaw because his goat was small, but if you have a cow that weighs thousands of pounds it can cause some problems.  Supposedly, seeing guys in lungis chasing a cow down the street is not uncommon.


Prayer at one of the many local mosques.



This a Muslim imam (religious leader).  you can either have an imam slaughter your animal for a fee of around 500 taka or just do it yourself.  The more devout people have the imam do it.  He has a special shaped knife for the job.  Also, after watching different people doing this, the imam is much better at finishing the job quickly than an average guy.




Here’s the view from my roof.  Pretty bloody


This huge cow was tied up to my building.  He took like 20 minutes get down on the ground.  During that 20 minutes i almost got killed as he got loose and started running around trying to run people over.


Here’s another Imam.  His white clothes got pretty messy.


After the animal is killed its butchered either in the street or in the garage of your building.  Then you distribute 1/3 to you family/relatives, some for the poor, and some for the mosque.


Today is like Halloween for the people that can’t afford to buy their own animal.  Hundreds of lower caste people run around with bags and ask for pieces of meat.  Its like trick or treating, but with raw meat.

Although i think there are better ways to show your devotion to your religion, i do think there are some pretty cool things about this holiday.  It’s a time when family comes together and enjoys eachothers company.  Because i’ve been away from my family for a while, i see how important that is.  Also, a big part of the holiday is giving to the poor.  Being that there’s an insane amount of people in this country that don’t get enough food, i think this holiday does a good job of doing that.  But on the other hand, i thinks its a waste to be killing thousands of animals unnecessarily and to a certain extent, it can kind of be a show of how much money you have.  Kind of a game of which family has the bigger cow.


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