Café Crem

Art, Music and Words around The Coffee Table


Hi Folks

Just a little bit on my experiences on Eid-al-Adhaa, or ‘’Festival of the sacrifice’’ as known here, I have always celebrated eid in England, and never in Kashmir (where my family originates from), where I believe there is a world of difference as to how this occasion, spanning 3 days is spent.

Eid-al-adha represents the Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) and their hardships and trials that they faced in order to prove their love of God, they went through all the other tests and succeeded but the final and most challenging and extreme task for any human, for him to prove his devotion, was to sacrifice his own son, the beloved Ismaa’il, and that they chose to be blindfolded as they could not bear the sight of what was to happen, but once they lifted the blindfold they saw that in his place a goat was slaughtered instead and there stood Ismaa’il, smiling back up at his father.

The Hajj (pilgrimage) represent’s the above, which comes to a close, the night before Eid, with each person sacrificing an animal, a goat, sheep, lamb, cow and sharing the meat with the poor. The Sacrifice (Qurbaani) is obligatory upon every-able bodied adult, though I’m not sure if its obligatory every year upon the same individual? Its all about how much you can afford.

For the rest of the world, it all depends on the sighting of the moon at its correct phase, and soon as it is sighted in a suitable region of the world, an announcement is made by a responsible committee, that Eid is the following day.

Back to my own Eid-al-Adha experience, I have spent a lot of time in Pakistan/Kashmir but have never been there around Eid time, which is a shame, as I know in Pakistan/Kashmir they have a tradition where a week or two prior to Eid, each family buy a goat (or a few, depending on how rich they are) and they then take the goat(s) home and feed, groom, exhibition them until their time is up (gulp!). The local butcher does his rounds and goes through the Slaughter (Zibaah) procedures, where the meat is then ready to cook, before moving on to the next house. This is more the theme in the cities, in the more rural and agricultural areas, the families take from their own livestock and then carry out the sacrifice themselves, as per they’re ordinary routine.

In England, the meat is ordered at the Butchers and then its picked up on Eid day or the day before, and when we get to see it, it will come in a huge presented tray, in a variety of specially prepared ‘lamb chop’, bitesize lamb chunks and minced meat, as per our requests, ready to cook as we wish, we are able to save some of the meat and store in the freezer, for a suitable time. The meat is split into little clear bags and then given out to friends, family, neighbours, I’m sure its split in 3 thirds, where 1 3rd we keep for ourselves, 1 3rd between family and friends and 1 3rd for the poor, but I’m not entirely sure. We all help out by dropping these bags off. We cook a variety of yummy food, using the meat, for e.g. lamb chops, kebabs, rice with meat, meat curry and so forth.
I suppose its all become very consumeristic (as everything is becoming in this day and age). We hardly ever think back to the actual real significance of this occasion, more emphasis is put on our clothes, the amount of money (Eidi) or alternatively, gifts we’ll recieve, or give out, how we decorate our houses, who has better food, etc.
P.s. Eidi or Eid money (or alternatively gifts) is what you receive as kids, up till an age where you’re earning yourself and able to give from your own pocket, you give the money out to the children and make their day, this Eid money comes in notes of £5, £10 and £20, some people even give £100, but they’re the ridiculously rich ones, whom I wish would bump into on an Eid day sometime.
Sadly I’m now a giver, too old to be a receiver now, but me and my friends do give each other presents.
As a child Eid was all about an excuse to spend a whole day with friends and cousins of the same age, and we’d be all dressed up, with henna’ed hands and get lots of Eidi, which we would spend at the ice cream van, well that’s when Eid-al-adha was in the Summer.




December 31, 2007 - Posted by | Art, culture, events, family, Festival of the Sheep, Festivals of the World, food, Muslim Holidays, personal, religion, travel, writing


  1. Hi Supersize!

    Great that you could make an entry here! And what a wonderful picture!
    Kevin and me are about to leave now, Kevin has a new year gig tonight in the south of Spain, and we have no time to read your entry now. But tomorrow we will be on the internet again and will read it, of course, and comment!
    Thanks so much and happy new year!

    Comment by Miki | December 31, 2007

  2. South of Spain? Sounds warm! Sounds like good food can be had any and everywhere …
    can you feelmy envy?:-)

    Happy New Year!

    Comment by Eric Holcomb | December 31, 2007

  3. Wow!!
    Nice, he has a gig as in he’s performing tonight?

    Aaaah to be in Spain now (looks over out of window, foggy, grey afternoon).

    Thanks Miki and Kev!

    Happy new year! xXx

    Comment by supersizeme | December 31, 2007

  4. Supersize, this was a great entry! thanks for providing a different perspective. I can really feel the “fun feeling” in he holiday from the way you have described it.

    Best regards,
    Madame Monet

    Comment by wpm1955 | December 31, 2007

  5. Thanks for your comment MM 😀

    Comment by supersizeme | January 2, 2008

  6. Hi Supersize, Happy New Year!! Miki and I have found our way into an internet cafe, as our line is still down at our place here in Mojacar (grrr) we really feel cut off from you guys, but we wanted to come in and read the stuff and make some comments. Great description of the Eid from the UK perspective. Its interesting to see the same “consumerism” effect creeping into your festivals , as it has with Christmas…I guess its just human nature. Thanks for all the effort in getting this piece together, and putting a nice artistic piece with it!

    Comment by kevmoore | January 3, 2008

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