Bakrid - festival of sacrifice
Bakrid festival, popularly known as Id-ul-Zuha, is an important religious festival of Muslims observed once in a year to commemorate Prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) who willingly agreed to immolate his son Ishmael near Mecca, symbolically as an act of respect and obedience to gratify God ahead of God's intervention to provide him with a goat or Bakr (Urdu) to immolate as a substitute.
Bakrid festival is observed in the month of Dhu al-Hijjah (the twelfth and last month of the Islamic calendar) by offering special prayers and exchanging gifts. Muslims in India will celebrate the upcoming Bakrid 2011 on the month of November with great fervor based on the Islamic calendar or lunar calendar.
Celebration of Bakrid festival has immense religious significance and is observed worldwide with great enthusiasm. The festivity, extensively known as the 'feast of sacrifice' or 'Greater Eid festival' celebrates Ibrahim's willingness to sacrifice his own son to please God and also completion of Haj by the pilgrims asking God for forgivenes
Celebrations And Rituals
Eid festival / Bakrid holds animal sacrifice as one of the most significant aspects in its celebration. In order to honor the event of Ibrahim's attempt to sacrifice his son, Muslims commence animal sacrifice, so as to conform to Allah's command, and Allah's mercy in substituting a lamb for the child.
A goat, a sheep or a cow is sacrificed according to the laid down rules. One third of the meat is retained for family, while another third is distributed among friends and relatives and the remaining one third is given in charity for the poor and the needy.
People wear new clothes on this occasion. They offer their prayers in a gathering in an open area called Eidgah or a mosque. People engage in animal sacrifice, performed duly in tune with the religious laws.
Muslims make it a point to see that everybody becomes a part of the Eid festival feast. They chant Takbir loudly before and after offering their Eid prayers; the sacrifice is made and distribution of meat takes place. The sacrificed animal needs to meet somecertain age and quality standards as otherwise the animal would be considered inappropriate for sacrifice.
Bakri-Id, also known as Eid-al-Adha is extremely important to Muslims and thus, they celebrate it with great zeal and enthusiasm.
It is celebrated on the 10th day of the 12th month, Dhu a-Hijjah. It occurs after the Hajj pilgrimage, which is the fifth pillar of Islam, undertaken by the Muslims. It is celebrated with ritualistic fervor in Andhra Pradesh and in particular, the old city of Hyderabad.
As the date of Id-ul-zuha is calculated according to the Islamic Calendar, or the Lunar calendar, the dates for the upcoming years are based on approximate calculations.
The Festival of Id-ul-Zuha or Bakrid is celebrated with great enthusiasm among Muslims all over the world. The day normally starts with men and women dressing in the best outfits and proceeding towards Mosque.
On Id-ul-Zuha, special `Dua` (prayer) is recited by thousands of Muslims for peace andprosperity. The wealthy are expected to sacrifice one animal per family and distribute two-thirds of the meat among poor. Those who cannot afford it, one animal per family can be offered. Very poor, seven or seventy families together offer one animal.
A full-grown camel, cow, goat or sheep, free from disease, is considered the best offering. The sacrifice can be offered at any time before the afternoon of the third day. In India, too, goats and sheep are sacrificed all over the country and prayers are offered.
Followed with the food sacrifice and charity to poor Muslims greet each other with “Eid Mubarak” and visit the houses of relatives and friends. Special delicacies are prepared and served among family and friends on the occasion. Gifts are also exchanged on this auspicious day.