The Muslim community in Nepal is celebrating Bakra Eid with ritual sacrifices and festivities. Also known as Edi al-Adha, the festival is being celebrated from September 13-15 this year.
According to Islamic tradition, believers sacrifice animals and go on pilgrimage to Mecca. During Bakra Eid, Muslims gather at the nearest mosque and offer prayers.
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It is believed that sacrifices bring one closer to god and open up the door to heaven. The sacrifices are only performed after a Maulana, one who is learned in Quran, blesses the animal with chants from the holy text.
The meat is then divided into three parts. It is believed in Islam that the sacrificed meat should not only be consumed by oneself. After a portion is kept for one’s own consumption, another is handed out to kin and relatives. Another portion is given to those who cannot perform ritual sacrifices on their own.
Nepali Muslims mainly sacrifice goats during the festivities with one family sacrificing up to three animals. Other than that, water buffaloes and sheep are also sacrificed.
“Keeping in consideration the Hindus in the country, we do not sacrifice cows,” says Shirad Ahmed Farooqi, Chairman of Nepal Muslim Etihad Organisation.
The ritual sacrifices culminates into a feast, the invitation of which is extended to friends and family, and even for non-Muslims.
According to latest census figures, Nepali Muslims make up 4.4 per cent of the total population.