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Turks celebrate Eid al-Adha with prayers, sacrifice

11-17-2010 14:14 BJT

ANKARA, Nov. 16 (Xinhua) -- Muslims in Turkey thronged into mosques and joined the practice of sacrificing animals on Tuesday to celebrate the annual Muslim Eid al-Adha festival.

At the Kocatepe Mosque, the biggest mosque in Turkish capital Ankara, thousands of people knelt down towards the direction of the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday morning, praying and listening to the peace messages delivered by the imam.

According to the Muslim tradition, every adult Muslim who can afford it should sacrifice an animal or have it done by a butcher during the Eid al-Adha festival. People then keep some of the meat at home to eat and hand out the rest to their neighbors and relatives, especially the poor and needy.

Killing of the animals is forbidden in cities in Turkey and takes place in designated butcheries, where sheep and cattle are chosen by customers and sacrificed.

A 50 kg sheep usually produces 25 kg of meat and the other parts, including the skin and internal organs, are collected by the local administration and distributed to dealers, said Ejder Baykal, who has been working at a butchery in Ankara for years.

In the countryside, where the practice of sacrifice is not restricted, people can kill the animals and divide the meat at their backyards. Many favor going to rural markets where animals are purchased and brought home or butchered on the site.

At a rural market near Ankara, customers gathering there made parking space scarce on Tuesday morning. Some carried the animals home with their vehicles, while others found an available spot nearby and made the sacrifice together with their family members. After the sheep or cattle were put to the blade, some parents touched the forehead of their children with blood for blessing.

Editor:Jin Lin |Source: Xinhua

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