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a. Figures
2. Koran
3. Theology
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14. Calendar

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Islam / Cult and Festivals /
Id al-Kabir
Arabic: ¢īd 'al-kabīrPlay sound and ¢īd 'al-'adhā'Play sound
Turkish: bŁyŁk-bairam

Article about the Muslim calendar.

Id Kabir from Tunis, Tunisia

Central religious feast in Islam, lasting for a period of 3 days.
It is celebrated on the 10. Dhu l-hijja (month of the Muslim calendar), parallel to a sacrifice performed by pilgrims in Mecca during the hajj.
Central to Id al-Kabir is the sacrifice, either a lamb (in Mecca one lamb for each participant, while Muslims otherwise sacrifice one lamb per family, unless they are well endowed), or a camel for a group of up to seven people (not common today). The animal must be young, and free of physical defects.
The sacrifice is to be performed in the morning, right after the prayer. The normal practice is quite straightforward. The family gathers around the animal, and the father of the house cuts the throat swiftly.
As soon as the animal has bled to death, it is skinned, and then cut up. Only few parts of the animal are used to prepare dinner on the day of Id al-Kabir, often only the intestines. The meat is stored to be used in the following days. In many countries the meat is sold to official companies, making sure that valuable meat is not lost. The Sunna instructs Muslims to give 2/3 to the poor, but many Muslims consider themselves poor and keep the meat for themselves, or sell it.
Id al-Kabir is a family happening, and there are few public and social activities connected to it. Yet it is a happy occasion, and it remains very popular, as being one of the few times during the year when people feel like splurging.
The theological background for Id al-Kabir is unclear, but the sacrifice by Ibrahim of his son (either Ishaq or Ismail, the sources disagree), which is mentioned in the Koran, is the most likely motivation. But most Muslims don't seem too preoccupied with the theological reasons for celebrating Id al-Kabir.

By Tore Kjeilen