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Home > Discover Hyderabad > City Lifestyle > Festivals > Bakrid - The festival of sacrifice

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Thousands of people offering prayers at MeccaBakrid, the festival of sacrifice, is one of the most important festivals for Muslims. After Ramzan, it is the one festival, which Muslims around the globe celebrate with religious fervour and gaiety. Bakrid falls on the last month of the Islamic calendar.

Bakrid, also known as Idd-ul-Zuha, coincides with the haj pilgrimage at Mecca, where Muslims from all over the world congregate to perform the annual ritual of haj. The significance of the festival is the commemoration of the ordeals of Prophet Abraham, who was put to a tough test by Allah to prove his faith. He was asked to sacrifice his son Ismail and without any hesitation Prophet Ibrahim blindfolded himself and made the offering on the Mount of Mina near Mecca. When Prophet Abraham opened his eyes, he was astonished to find a goat lying upon the altar and his son Ismail standing in front of him. Ever since, faithfuls of Islam the world over offer sacrifices on the festival day of Bakrid.

Symbolising BakridThe day of the Idd-ul-Zuha starts with the morning Namaz, where Muslims of all ages offer special prayers at mosques. Namazis are required to offer prayers on an empty stomach. This festival also calls upon every Muslim, who can afford, to sacrifice an animal - a goat, sheep, camel or bull. After Namaz, "qurbani" (sacrifice) is performed. Once the sacrifice is done, meat is served to the family and distributed in the neighborhood. The meat is generally divided into three portions - one part for the poor, another for friends and relatives and whatever remains is for the family.

Sheep mela along the roadside In Hyderabad, Bakrid is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm and religious fervour. Prayers are offered in the mosques and in iddgahs. Meeralam and Madannapet iddgahs are some of the famous iddgahs in the twin cities, where special prayers are offered during the festivals of Ramzan and Bakrid. Thousands gather near Charminar to offer idd prayers in Mecca Masjid and the entire area from Madina circle to Mecca Masjid is cordoned off during the prayer time. Muslims wear new clothes and apply itr (perfume) and soorma on the eve of Bakrid.

Temporary markets spring up along the roadsides where thousands of goats are brought for sale. Chanchalguda, Charminar, Mehdipatnam and Musheerabad are some of the hotspots where the goats are sold on the occasion of Bakrid. The goats are priced anywhere between Rs. 500 to RS 5,000 depending on the age and weight of the animal.

The essence of Bakrid pervades throughout the day with prayers and sacrifices.
- MAR Fareed
Photographs: KP Devadasan

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