Thursday, October 28, 2010

Festival of Sacrifice coming up

Eid ul-Adha or the Festival of Sacrifice is coming up on November 16.  It will not start until November 17 in the U.S.  It will continue until November 20.

It is the most important Muslim holiday of the year.  It follows the Hajj (pilgrimage to Mecca) and commemorates the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son for God.  On God's command, he sacrificed a ram instead.

Thus, it is a tradition for Muslim people to sacrifice animals, usually sheep or goats, for this holiday.  The meat is divided into three equal parts and shared with others.  A third is given to the poor.

Muslim holidays are approximately 11 days earlier each year.  This is because the Islamic calender (lunar) is different from the Gregorian calendar.  In fact, the exact day of the holidays cannot be predicted too far ahead of time, since it is based on the sighting of the moon.

Be sure to keep the Festival of Sacrifice in mind as you market sheep and goats this time of the year.  Intact males are often required.  Tails are usually preferred, as an unblemished animal is sought for this important holiday.

To capitalize on this increased demand for sheep and goats, find out what kind of animal is favored by individual customers or your local sale barn.

Ethnic holiday calendar

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