Sheep – a very important part of the Eid al-Adha celebration

Sheep – a very important part of the Eid al-Adha celebration

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This year, on 25th of August, in the Middle East, several million sheep will be slaughtered. No, this is not happening for any strange reason, it’s”Eid al-Adha” – the Feast of the Sacrifice.

This festival is the most important in the Muslim calendar. It marks the end of the annual pilgrimage to Mecca. It also commemorates the story – found in Christian and Jewish scripture, too – of how the Prophet Abraham, who was ordered to prove his love for God by sacrificing his son.

The background of this holiday

Abraham followed God’s demand and he was prepared to kill his son, Isaac. However, once he had demonstrated his faith by the preparations, God spared the boy and allowed Abraham to sacrifice a lamb instead. In the Muslim version of this story, the event took place at Mecca, which is now in Saudi Arabia. It was here where Abraham and his son built the Ka’ba – the square stone structure in Mecca, which Muslims turn towards when praying.

How do Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha

As a reminder of this, pilgrims to Mecca make their own sacrifice – normally a sheep or a goat – though nowadays they can, if they prefer, simply purchase a certificate showing that an animal has been sacrificed on their behalf. The meat is not wasted, but frozen and shipped off as a gift to poor countries.

Elsewhere in the Muslim world, families gather for the sacrifice and the meal that follows. It is not unlike the British ritual of the Christmas turkey – except that our turkeys come ready-plucked and gutted in a plastic bag, whereas Muslims usually buy live sheep. Even in some of the major cities, sheep are still bought a few days beforehand and kept in yards or on rooftops, where the children feed them, cuddle them and stare into their soulful eyes.

On the morning of the sacrifice, the eldest son sharpens his knife, takes the sheep by its horns, utters the requisite prayer, and slits the sheep’s throat. There is a spurt of blood, which is very important, as Muslims only eat meat from ritually slaughtered animals whose blood has left their bodies while dying.

After that, the son cut a hole in its skin, inserted a wooden pipe and blew. The skin inflates, making it easier to peel off. After that, the family starts preparing the festive meal.

By late afternoon, the skin and the intestines are let to hang on a washing line to dry.

For several, a Muslim family eats nothing but lamb, making use of every part of the slaughtered animal.

Seradria is part of the tradition

Seradria is livestock exporter from Romania, founded in 1994 in Bucharest, Romania. Its main object of activity is fattening, veterinary treating and export of livestock – sheep and cattle. By using the latest technologies in the industry, the company is able to produce the highest quality alfalfa all year around.

The livestock exported by Seradria meets the most demanding standards, every sheep exported being provided with a sanitary certificate which is specific for each country. Prepare for Eid al-Adha with the best quality sheep provided by Seradria!