Eid al-Adha also known as Bakrid in Mauritius, marks the culmination of the hajj (pilgrimage) rites at Minā, Saudi Arabia, near Mecca, but is celebrated by Muslims throughout the world. It is the second Eid of every Islamic year for the muslims community in Mauritius. It is also called the festival of Abraham’s sacrifice. Contrary to Eid-ul-fitr, this festival is quite demanding and requires a lot of preparation. In Mauritius, an early morning prayer is performed by our fellow countrymen at the mosque while women pray at home. Right afterwards the preparation for the day starts. Houses are thoroughly cleaned, and the ladies are very busy in the kitchen.
A few men would go to give a helping hand while some children would eagerly wait in the backyard, mesmerized by the happening of this special day. Meat is shared with the poor and family members and special meat dishes are prepared at every house. On this feast day, it is a tradition to wear new clothes especially for dinner where everyone meet up for a family gathering where the traditional beef biryani is served. It is customary to embrace each other while wishing Eid Mubarak, which translates as “have a blessed Eid’. Gifts are given to children, and many would go visiting friends and relatives until quite late.
Indeed, the sacrifice of Abraham is followed by the Muslim community in Mauritius and the aim of observing Eid-ul-Adha is connected with centuries of ancient history. As per the holy books, Abraham had a dream where he was giving as sacrifice to God his beloved son Ismael. Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael was an act of obedience to God, before God intervened to provide him with a sheep to sacrifice instead. Symbolically, every year, Muslims make a sacrifice in the remembrance of this divine action. This festival holds a special significance as it marks the end of the annual pilgrimage in Makkah, an obligation only for those men and women who are physically and financially able to perform it once in their lifetime.