What exactly is the Feast of the Sacrifice (Kurban Bayramı) – It’s intriguing, yet sounds like a very strange affair. Perhaps even a little...... scary? ‘Sacrifice’
So let us explore further what Kurban Bayram is all about….
What? – The Feast of the Sacrifice is to honor the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his first-born son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of faith and submission to God. Before Abraham could start the sacrifice, God intervened and provided Abraham with a Lamb to sacrifice instead of his son. phew!
All Muslims now sacrifice an animal during the festival to commemorate this prophet.
When? – The date of ‘Kurban Bayram’ or ‘Feast of the Sacrifice’ changes each year and takes place 70 days after Ramadan. The celebrations last four and a half days with the ‘half-day’ being the beginning of the festival (eve of festival) Giving people a half day to prepare/plan for the 4-day festivities.
Why? – Kuban Bayram is all about charity and community. During the festivities people take time out to visit family and friends and give donations of food or clothing to the less fortunate. Parents often buy new clothes for their children to wear during the festival and give their old clothes to the poor.
How? – This is the grizzly part…. A young goat or sheep (minimum one year old) is killed / sacrificed. However, for richer families, the sacrificed animal can be either a bull or camel (minimum 2 years old)
The meat is then shared among family members, neighbors and given to the poorer communities.
Where? – In the good old days a butcher or family member (usually the head of the family) would perform the sacrifice either in the garden or nearby street. However, nowadays law prohibits these traditions and instead mobile slaughterhouses are installed throughout the cities of Turkey. Trained butchers, at the requests of the families will kill, clean, and package the meat.
Some people prefer to donate money to charities / organizations and have animals slaughtered in their name. (These charities / organizations distribute the meat to the poor and needy)
What this means for tourists – On the first day of the festival many tourist attractions will be closed for a half-day and tourist / holiday resorts will resume business as normal.
Services closed for the whole duration of the festival include, Banks, companies, schools and government departments.
This years dates:- Monday 14th October - Friday 18th October - 2013