Tuesday 15 October, 2013 by Uncle Spike
Today is Eid-al-Adha, which is sometimes referred to as the Sacrifice Festival, or here, it’s Kurban Bayram – the biggest festival of the Islamic calendar.
Personally, I don’t shout about religion on my blog. After all, I believe that faith is a personal thing, not a badge to wear and go round waving in other people’s faces, so this is a slight break in tradition for Uncle Spike.
However, here’s a snippet of what happens here in the Spike household today…
For me, the day started with an early morning walk up to the village mosque for the communal prayers just after 7am. These are the same prayers that will be held all over the world.
After the service, the entire village male population stands in a huge circle in the grounds of the mosque (among the chickens, piles of sand and bricks and stacks of winter firewood). So the line starts with the youngest, and goes in age order through to the eldest. Then the little ones start the process off by walking along, kissing hands and shaking hands and greeting all their elders. This continues until everyone has greeted everyone else (in our village, that constituted about 250 handshakes in all for me).
Then it was back home to breakfast on the balcony with my own family (including the visiting parents-in-law and granny-in-law).
More handshakes and hand kissing after brekky – our own mini greeting line held in the sitting room.
Cousin Spike Jnr even received some small financial gifts. Of course, this was immediately stuffed away towards the purchase of his very own lightsabre.
Lots of phone calls being made to relatives, so in our house, that means my partially deaf father-in-law shouting endlessly into his mobile/cell phone as he tries to explain who he is as well as vocalise his ‘Bayram’ greeting to his friends and relatives.
Now granny will probably start cooking.
Aunty Spike, a.k.a. my wife and the outlaws will head into town to have their traditional coffee and buy a tonne of newspapers before heading back home to devour them over an afternoon in front of the telly.
Me, well, I will take advantage of the peace and quiet and crack on with some proof-reading, then plant some peas and dig over the rose-beds.
Peace be with all of you out there today.
Whoever you are, wherever you are,
it doesn’t matter – just be safe, be happy.