Arab Muslims celebrate Eid
Cairo, Aug 12 (IANS) From Mecca to Baghdad, Arab Muslims celebrated Eid al-Adha by sacrificing animals on Sunday.
The ritual honours how Abraham offered to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God, Efe news reported.
In the Egyptian capital, the economic struggle has not prevented those who have enough resources from sacrificing animals in the streets as in previous years.
Doing so, they ignored calls by Egyptian authorities to use public slaughterhouses.
Those who sacrifice animals in the public streets are subject to fines.
People in need could get donations, as solidarity is an important part of the spirit of Eid.
Islam's teachings state that the meat of the sacrificed animal is divided into three parts, a third to keep, another to give away to poor people and another to present the beloved ones.
In the holy city of Mecca, up to 1 million head of cattle are expected to be sacrificed within four days as part of the Hajj rituals, performed this year by nearly 2.5 million people.
Local authorities have set up eight large slaughterhouses manned by 40,000 workers.
The meat of the sacrificed animals is consumed by pilgrims in Mecca and the rest is conserved in freezers and transported to be donated to other Islamic countries through the Islamic Development Bank.
The animal sacrifice began on Sunday after pilgrims started to perform the "Stoning of the Devil," which consists of throwing pebbles at three walls in Mecca's Mina district - the three walls in Islamic tradition represent the devil.
This year, rain marred the Sudanese people's celebrations as it prevented them from performing the Eid prayers in public squares as per tradition.
The political and economic situation in Sudan, immersed in a delicate transition period after the ousting of President Omar al-Bashir, has also cast a shadow over the celebrations.
At mosques, imams denounced the power vacuum, calling on civil and political forces, and the military council that runs the country to form a transitional government as soon as possible, in line with a deal both parties struck in July.
During his sermon, the preacher at Khartoum's Great Mosque, Hasan Saleh, said that "people are not happy with the high prices of products and services," which prevented many from buying an animal to sacrifice.
Baghdad has witnessed the happiest Eid in a while as roads and streets are reopened after the security barriers were removed.
In contrast to previous years, no attacks have taken place during this Eid, which Iraqis are celebrating calmly.
Family members are gathering in the oldest individual's home to enjoy the meat of the sacrificed animal together and then they head to cemeteries to honor the memory of their beloved dead or to visit friends and relatives.
In each meeting, they drink tea with Kleicha, a traditional Iraqi cookie.
In Jordan, the traditional Baklava dessert sweetens times of economic crisis that have prevented some Jordanians from performing all the Eid traditions - buying gifts for children and women; sacrificing a lamb, cow or camel; or taking an excursion.
Going to Red Sea beaches or traveling somewhere to escape the heat of the summer is a luxury only a few can afford, while the majority of people just hope to enjoy the meat.