Bakr Id which is also known as Eid al-Adha or Id-ul-Adha in Arabic is a festival celebrated by the Muslim community all around the world. The festival is based on the mythological story of a command from Allah to Ibrahim to sacrifice his own son Ishmael, Ibrahim subsequently went on to follow God’s orders, but at the very last moment his son was replaced by a sheep.
It is this act of dedication that is celebrated. It is called Bakr-Id in India deriving its name from the tradition of sacrificing a goat or “bakri” in Urdu (A form of Arabic spoken in the Indian Sub-continent). The word “id” derived from the Arabic “iwd” means “festival”.
On this day, a special `Dua` (prayer) is recited by thousands of Muslims for peace and prosperity. Wealthy families are expected to sacrifice one animal per family and distribute two-thirds of the meat among the poor, a full-grown camel, cow, goat or sheep free from disease, is considered the best offering. The sacrifice, is popularly known as “Qurbani”. In India, too, goats and sheep are sacrificed all over the country and prayers are offered.
This day is celebrated with traditional fervor and gaiety in India and around the world. It is tradition to dress in one’s best outfit for this day, hence this period near Bakr Id is a popular time for Muslim families to visit malls and shopping centers in order to buy the fanciest outfits their respective budgets can afford.As it is a gazzetted holiday (a national holiday declared by the Centre), National, state as well as local government offices, post offices and banks are all closed on this day. Islamic stores, businesses and other organizations may be closed or have reduced opening hours. The roads and public spaces of areas predominantly resided by Muslims give you a real insight into the way this festival is celebrated.
The day normally starts with men and women dressing in their best outfits and proceeding towards the Mosque for prayers, this is then followed by the food sacrifice and charitable offerings to the poor. Muslims greet each other using the phrase “Eid Mubarak” (Eid meaning “celebration”, and Mubarak meaning “blessed”) and visit the houses of relatives and friends. Special delicacies are prepared and served among family and friends on this occasion, gifts are also exchanged on this auspicious day. All in all, Bakr Id is another spectacular festival that tells a story of its own and adds the colorful list of festivals of the diverse land of India.