The festival of Sacrifice is close, but do we know what that means?
The festivals of Sacrifice, along with Ramadan are the two most important festivals in Islam. This year, it falls on July 31st and August 3rd. These days are national holiday in Muslim countries. The festival of sacrifice falls on a different day every year.
This festival has an important meaning for Muslims. It is a festival in which they show their commitment to Allah and feel this commitment intensely. For this festival, there is an interesting background (story). It tells about Prophet Abraham who makes a vow to Allah to give him a child. Prophet Abraham promises to sacrifice his son to Allah if Allah gives him a son from his wife, Sare. Abraham, who has a son after a while, lays his son on the rocks to keep his promise and just when the sacrifice takes place, God tells Prophet Abraham to stop. The way Abraham remains true to his word, showing that he could sacrifice his beloved son to God have a place in the teaching in Islam. This is a guide that shows people how to devote themselves to God and their commitment to God. In that day, God tells Abraham to not to sacrifice his son, and instead to sacrifice a ram. The one to bring the ram from the skies is angel Gabriel. After this, sacrificing a ram for God becomes a tradition.
This sacrifice is a religious service, to remember the commitment of Muslims to God. The religious service also advises and reminds some moral duties and responsibilities in it. These duties are actions such as helping, sharing showing empathy, being responsible. The reason for it is, people who make sacrifices eat some of this meat and hand out some of the meat. The part they hand out goes to those in need. As a matter of fact, these days there is a regular practice of giving the money of the animal that is going to be sacrificed to charities and foundations instead of sacrificing it. Religious festivals have some common traits.
- Praying (performing salaat) with other people
- Helping other people
- Feeling the connection to God intensely
- Giving children pocket money and candy
- Children kissing the hand of the older (as a sign of respect)
- Strengthening relationships by visiting
- Wearing new and clean clothes called “bayramlık” * on festivals.
- Offering food and dessert to the guests
The most important part out of them is the food and dessert part. Because people come together around dinner tables. When you go somewhere as a guest, the first question is what you would like to eat and drink. I will mention some of the food you’ll get offered in almost every household when you visit this festival.
– Kavurma* Fried Meat
– Baklava* Sweet pastry with nuts
– Şekerpare* A sherbet dessert done with semolina
– Sütlaç* Rice pudding
– Turkish coffee, black tea, lemonade
Fried meat is usually the first meal after the sacrifice. It is a simple meat food and easy to make. Some families prefer eating the fried meat at breakfast. To the guests coming during the day, people offer desserts. Throughout the festival day, tea is always boiling on festival day.
The sacrifice is devoted to Allah. People can sacrifice animals to Allah for their wishes outside of festival days. This makes the bond between people and Creator stronger. And visiting relatives especially on festivals makes the relationships stronger. In Turkey, you often hear the saying ‘’ there is no resentment on festival day’’. It is intended from people who are cross with each other to make peace with each other and leave the tension behind. Because making the human relations and the bond with God stronger are the basic characteristics of festival of Sacrifice.
The Turkish4 family says happy holy festival of Sacrifice of all Muslims and wishes this festival to bring love, tolerance and fellowship to the whole world.
Happy Sacrifice feast!
Bayramlık* feast clothes
Translated by: Esra Nur Elmas