Thursday, July 24, 2014

Ramadan 2014, Day 25 – Eid is Approaching

You know you’re not in North America when the Government has to remind you . . .

I’m seeing notices like these on some of the main streets in Doha. It would seem amusing to a non-Muslim Westerner but there is a good reason for the reminder. The first Eid (Eid al-Fitr) is the breaking of the fast so it is likely there will be a high demand for meat. The Qatar Government has passed laws restricting slaughtering animals to official abattoirs, in some other Muslim countries it would not be unusual to bring an animal home and have it slaughtered in the yard. As Eid is maybe three or four days from now the Government clearly wanted to remind people of the law.

But there is another holiday where this message is most important -- the second Eid (Eid al-Adha), which this year will be in early October. During Eid al-Adha Muslims who can afford it should slaughter a goat/sheep/camal/cow (and if they own a herd preferably their best animal) and at least a third of the meat must be shared with the poor. In Qatar this results in thousands of animals butchered during the second Eid. Many would simply purchase a goat, take it home, and have it slaughtered there but the Government has forbidden the practice. One time I was in Turkey during Eid al-Adha and I saw many animal carcasses in yards being carved up to give out the meat.

So no home-butchering everyone, leave it to professionals.

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