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India gears up to celebrate Eid al-Adha Wednesday
Tuesday October 15, 2013 7:11 PM, & Agencies

With markets decorated, shops aflush with trendy attires and accessories, eateries overflowing with custom, and goats on sale at cramped open spaces -- Indian Muslims are reliving the festive fervour and shopping frenzy of Eid al-Adha, to be celebrated Wednesday.

Unlike Eid al-Fitr, which is celebrated on the 1st day of Sahwwal - the month following the holy month of Ramadhan, Eid al-Adha is celebrated on 10th day of the holy month Dhu al-Hijja. The new moon of Dhu al-Hijja in India was seen on October 06 Sunday.

Pakistan and other countries in the sub continent will celebrate Eid al-Adha tomorrow. America, Britain and other countries will also celebrate Eid al-Adha tomorrow. Saudi Arabia and other Gulf states already celebrated the Eid al-Adha Tuseday.

Eid al-Adha celebrated in the memory of Prophet Ibrahim (peace be upon him) coincides with the Hajj - the annual pilgrimage when tens of thosuands of Muslims from all across the world gather at Mount Arafat and perform other Hajj rituals.

Meanwhile in New Delhi, shopping for favourite sweets and fresh raw mutton, from toys to the latest in clothes, cosmetics, choodiyan (glass bangles) or chappals, eager Muslims are thronging every outlet that has anything to offer from the traditional to the modern. Tiny kiosks selling trinkets in the bylanes to major markets and arcades on thoroughfares, all are doing brisk business.

For 22-year-old Sana Shakeel, Eid is the time to splurge on clothes, accessories and cosmetics.

"My mother gifted me an anarkali suit and now I am hunting for a pair of matching footwear and accessories," she said.

"Everybody wants to look their best on this occasion," added the Delhi University student.

Shakeel's family last week bought four goats which will be sacrificed Wednesday, and their meat distributed among friends, relatives and the poor and the needy in keeping with custom.

Eid al-Adha is celebrated to honour Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), who was even willing to sacrifice his son Ismail to please god. According to Muslim belief, god wanted to test Ibrahim and ordered him to sacrifice his son Ismail. But just as Ibrahim was about to slit Ismail's throat, god replaced him with a goat - hence the tradition of sacrificing an animal.

The sacrificial animal being the highlight of the festival, buyers have been for the past few days crowding at the temporary goat market that comes up every year on a ground next to the historical Jama Masjid.

Open 24X7, the marketplace during these days sees a convergence of goat sellers from north Indian states like Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh selling goats belonging to breeds like Mewati, Barbari, Desi, Punjabi, Totapuri, Sirohi and Himachali.

Goats and lambs priced between Rs.5,000 and Rs.10,000 constitute 80 percent of the sales.

After donating a third of the meat to the poor according to tradition, huge woks and grills are set up to prepare gastronomic delights like achari gosht, mutton stew, fried kaleji (liver) and tandoori raan (grilled lamb thigh). Savoury seviyan (vermicelli) top up the feast. [With inputs from IANS]

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