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Eid-ul-Azha or Eid-ul-Zuha

This Muslim festival of sacrifice, Id-ul-Zuha (Arabic) or Bakrid in Orissa is celebrated all over the state. On this day Muslims sacrifice a goat or Bakr (Urdu) to commemorate the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim, who willingly agreed to kill his son at the behest of God. This festival coincides with the Haj pilgrimage in Mecca. Prayers are offered in the mosques and the sacrificial meat is then distributed after the Id prayers. Special delicacies are prepared and served among family and friends on the occasion.

Also called Bakrid, Id-ul-Zuha, is a festival of great rejoice. Special prayers and exchange of greetings and gifts marked the Id-ul-Zuha (Bakrid), the festival of sacrifice, celebrated with traditional fervour and gaiety in India.Id-ul-Zuha is a reminder of Prophet Ibrahim's readiness to sacrifice his son for God's sake. It also marks the completion of Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca). On this day, special `Dua' is recited by thousands of Muslims for peace and prosperity.
This Eid is celebrated for three days, i.e. from the 10th to the 12th of month of Dhul Hijjah, and is marked by the sacrifice of animals (goat, sheep, camel, buffalo). This offering precedes the special prayers in the mosques. Delicacies are prepared and served and distributed among families and friends on this occasion.

It is in honour of this test of Prophet Ibrahim's determination and his faith that Muslims around the world offer the Eid prayers, sacrifice an animal on the occasion to show their faith, allegiance, submission and sincerity to Allah. This is celebrated on the tenth day of Dhul Hijjah - twelfth month of the Muslim lunar calendar - when the Haj celebrations at Mecca are rounded off by the sacrifice of goats, sheep or camels. In India, the animal used most often for sacrifice is the goat - which is why the occasion is spoken of in Urdu as Bakhr or Bakra-Eid.

Eid also coincides with the anniversary of the day when the Holy Quran was declared complete. Haj (pilgrimage to Mecca) is one of the five pillars of Islam and is obligatory for those who financially sound enough to afford it besides providing enough means for their families left behind and not accompanying them; for others it is not.

For millions of Muslim pilgrims who gather at Mecca in Saudi Arabia, it is a real big day. Muslim calendar being a lunar one, this Eid also depends on the sighting of the moon. On this day of Eid, the pilgrims reach the grounds of Mina where they sacrifice an animal each. The pilgrims then shave their heads. The purpose is to identify oneself in attire and appearance with … millions of devotees who converge to Mecca each year for the pilgrimage.

In Orissa, the day begins with a bath, after which namaz is offered. It is mandatory to sacrifice either individually or collectively if one cannot afford the full price of the animal. The sacrificial meat is then distributed amongst family, friends and the needy. Prayer meetings and Eid Milans (get-togethers) are part of the festivities. People visit friends and relatives wearing new clothes and jewellery. Children are given Eidi (gifts and cash money).

Shamba Dasami Id-ul-Zuha (Bakr-Id) Makar Sankranti Saraswati Puja Maghasaptami
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