Bakrid or Id-ul-Azha is the second main celebration of the Islamic lunar calender. The first celebration is the Eid-al-Fitr that is celebrated at the end of the month of Ramzan. Bakrid is a celebration of the spirit of sacrifice. It also marks the end of the Hajj Pilgrimage.
The story of its origin goes back to the prophet Ibrahim who lived in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, 4000 years ago. Allah ordered him to sacrifice his only son as a test of his faith and devotion. He was about to perform the sacrifice when he was stopped by Allah. Allah was happy at Ibrahim's devotion and asked him to sacrifice a lamb instead. Since then, Bakrid has been observed as the celebration of sacrifice and its spirit.
Bakrid has a set of rituals and traditions which makes the festival a mixture of piety and fun. Read on to know more about the traditions of Bakrid.
- New clothes for the whole family is a mandatory tradition for Bakrid. Families get their new Bakrid clothes ready well ahead of time. There are charities that ensure that no body has to go through Bakrid without the joy of new clothes.
- Women adorn their hands with henna and have a fun time. There are often sales that are organised that make the women go on a shopping spree for their families. In some countries, the various malls and shopping centers join in the festivities and have themed decorations put up.
- On the morning of Bakrid, People go to the mosques to offer their prayers. They dab on perfumes as it is especially recommended. People share warmth by wishing each other on Bakrid.
- As Bakrid is a festival that commemorates the sacrifice of Ibrahim, Muslims sacrifice a four legged animal. The animal of choice can be a goat, a sheep, a cow or a camel depending on the availability and finances one has. There are set rules about the quality of the sacrificial animal, which if not met, the sacrifice is not considered acceptable.
- The meat obtained from the sacrifice is ideally divided into three portions. One is kept for oneself, the second is distributed among friends and relatives, the third is given away to the poor and needy. If a family cannot afford livestock, they can contribute to charity which provides meat for those in need.
- During Bakrid, chanting Takbir aloud is considered an important part of the celebration.