Fattening the family cow in preparation for Eid-Ul-Azha
In a couple of days Bangladeshi’s will celebrate Eid-Ul-Azha. I noticed that quite a few cattle markets have sprung up around town in preparation for the holiday. Muslims who can afford to will sacrifice their best domestic animals (usually sheep, but also camels, cows, and goats) as a symbol of Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) sacrifice. According to the Koran, the meat is divided into three shares, one for the poor, one for the relatives and neighbors, and the last to keep for oneself. The remainder is cooked for the family celebration meal in which relatives and friends are invited to share. The regular charitable practices of the Muslim community are demonstrated during Eid-Ul-Azha by the concerted effort to see that no impoverished person is left without sacrificial food for the holiday. Eid-Ul-Azha is an affirmation of what the Muslim community ethic means in practice. People are also expected to visit their relatives, starting with their parents, then their families and friends.