This year, people of the Muslim faith have started to celebrate one of the two main Muslim holidays – Eid al-Adha, or the Feast of the Sacrifice – on August, 11. For believers, it also indicates the end of the Hajj, an annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
In the morning, local Muslims go to the mosque of the Belarusian town of Iuye. As the Feast of Sacrifice is considered to be a family one, those who work in other cities try to attend the prayer service and then have a family dinner.
The Eid al-Adha prayer begins at 8 am. In the course of it, the heads of men and women have to be covered.
In the mosque, there are two entrances to two separate rooms for men and women.
What distinguishes Eid al-Adha from other holidays is that Muslims sacrifice animals: bulls, goast, camels, sheep or lambs. And the Belarusian Tatars is no exception. Each Muslim family in Iuye seeks to make such a sacrifice at least once in their life.
In accordance with the Koran, the tradition stems from the story of Ibrahim who showed obedience to God’s order and expressed readiness to sacrifice his beloved son. But God stopped him and provided a lamb instead.
Sacrifices are believed to be offered so that the deceased could be happy in the great beyond. An experienced person should kill an animal to soothe its suffering.
In the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. It lasts four days, on which the faithful try to refrain from working.
On the second day, the Iuye Muslim believers usually go to the Tatar cemetery.