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Tabaski Festival is based on Islamic beliefs and could also be referred to as the feast of sacrifice. According to the holy Koran Prophet Ibrahim was commanded by God to take his son, Ishmael up on to a mountain and slaughter him as a sacrifice. Although Christians and Jews argue that Isaac was the son to be sacrificed and not Ishmael, all sides agree that Abraham was obedient to God and was ready to kill his son when a ram was provided as replacement instead.

[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Sacrifice: The Son or the Ram?” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:18|text_align:center|color:%23000000|line_height:4″ google_fonts=”font_family:Merriweather%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal”][vc_single_image image=”24639″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]This significant tabaski festival event is known globally as the Eid al-Adha and is celebrated annually among Muslims worldwide. Also referred to as Eid al-Kabir which means Great Feast, Eid al-Adha is the bigger of the two Eid festivals on the Muslim calendar and it is celebrated 70 days after Ramadan. The other is Eid al-Fitr and it takes place right after Ramadan.[/vc_column_text][vc_custom_heading text=”Operation Tabaski! A West African Spin” font_container=”tag:h1|font_size:18|text_align:center|color:%23000000|line_height:4″ google_fonts=”font_family:Merriweather%3A300%2C300italic%2Cregular%2Citalic%2C700%2C700italic%2C900%2C900italic|font_style:700%20bold%20regular%3A700%3Anormal”][vc_column_text]Eid al-Adha is the biggest festival celebration in Senegal and it is referred to as Tabaski. Tabaski is the common name for the festival in West Africa, in places like Senegal, The Gambia, Burkina Faso, Mali, and along that entire axis where Islam is the dominant religion.

In Senegal, the government runs a program codenamed Operation Tabaski to provide enough sheep or rams for each household to have one to slaughter on the day of the feast. In Dakar, everywhere you turn you see sheep – tied to posts in front of houses, strapped on to the roofs of cars along the road, being led along, sometimes even in buses with human passengers – leading to the D-day.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”24640″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]Also, a televised national beauty contest for sheep known as Khar Bii is usually held annually to find the most beautiful sheep in the country.

On the day of the festival, those who have not bought their rams can be spotted making quick purchases in the early hours of the day from sellers. Sheep are seen led by young children, most going down to Yoff beach to bathe them.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”24641″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center”][vc_single_image image=”24642″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]As the day proceeds, the people don their very best attires made especially for the occasion and head out to the mosque for special prayers.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”24643″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]After prayers, they return home and prepare for the slaughter, a change of gear into something used for household work. A hole is dug in the ground, while the poor animal looks on tied and ready.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”24644″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]Swiftly, the man of the house slits the throat of the animal and the blood drains into the hole. Meanwhile, not far away in the compound, the women make other ingredients ready.

The dead animal is inflated and then skinned with a razor or knife. Afterwards, it is butchered up. All the part of the animal is used, meat, liver, heart, etc. Artisans source the skin and horns for making leather items and crafts; even the vocal cords are used as talisman or good luck charm and hung over the door to ward off evil.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”24645″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]The meat is usually divided into three parts: one part is prepared as meal for the feast, another is sent to neighbors and the poor who cannot afford a ram to slaughter, while a third is kept for the household.[/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”24646″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]In Senegal, Tabaski festival is a time of great merriment for the people and everyone is welcomed and treated warmly. There is definitely lots of meat to share as an estimate of about 3 to 4 million animals are slaughtered for the festival![/vc_column_text][vc_single_image image=”24647″ img_size=”600×400″ alignment=”center”][vc_column_text]For additional information, see:

http://letterfromsenegal.blogspot.com/2013/10/tabaski.html

http://www.thestar.com/life/2013/10/25/celebrating_senegals_biggest_holiday_tabaski_with_a_sacrifice_porter.html

https://www.saudiaramcoworld.com/issue/201401/senegal.s.shepherds.of.tabaski.htm

http://lizinsenegal.blogspot.com/2012/10/tabaski-2012.html[/vc_column_text][vc_column_text]Wow!! Tabaski! Do you have a particular festival you what us to feature? Let us know at the comment box [/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Miriam Chiazor

Miriam Chiazor

Content Editor
Miriam is the cornerstone of content planning, fiercely dedicated to resolving the critical issues of the day. She loves a good challenge, thrives on deadlines, pressure and learning new things.
Miriam Chiazor
Miriam Chiazor
Miriam Chiazor

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