Aid el Kabir is one the oldest and most important religious
festivals of the Islamic world. The festival celebrates the
willingness of Abraham to obey God and sacrifice his son Isaac,
but also honours the giving of gifts, keeping of promises
and making of sacrifices.
As Aid El Kabir is a festival of sacrifice each Muslim household
that can afford to do so will sacrifice an animal - usually
a sheep. The head of the household will turn the animals
head toward Mecca before slitting its throat. None of the
animal is wasted as all parts will be turned into brochettes
and eaten, except a few small pieces of the heart and liver
which the women of the household cast into the corners of
each room in order to keep away evil. Special prayers are
said on the day of the festival and the holiday is a time
for the giving gifts and visiting friends and family. Islamic
law also says that some of the meat of the sacrifice must
be shared with the poor.
Aid el Kabir usually takes place around March every year
in Muslim communities throughout the world. It's a festival
which attracts controversy and outrage around the world from
animal rights workers, who see the ritual as exceptionally
cruel as the animal is conscious when their throat is slit
and causes a bloody and painful death.