World Bulletin / News Desk
Most of the requests for the meat of animals to be sacrificed at next week's Feast of Sacrifice in the Islamic world came to humanitarian aid organizations for Arakan.
Chairman of the Executive Board of the Dost Eli Association, based in Konya province, Mehmet Secer said that they began accepting donations as part of the Feast of Sacrifice.
"90 percent of those making donations want their donation to be sent to Arakan state in Myanmar. Last year, most people wanted their donations to be sent to Somalia and in the year before that most people wanted their donations to go to Pakistan. There is high interest in Arakan where Muslims there face poverty and massacres. We expect to receive 2,000 donations overseas. One thousand of them would be sent to Arakan," Secer stressed.
On the other hand, Director of the Konya branch of Kimse Yok Mu Association, Hasan Kiratli said that they would assist animal sacrificing in 70 countries.
Deputy Chairman of the Humanitarian Aid Foundation (IHH), Durmus Aydin said that they had been organizing animal sacrifices for the past 20 years.
"We will sacrifice animals in 101 countries and regions across the globe," Aydin also said.
THE FEAST OF SACRIFICE
The Sacrifice Feast in Turkey is a four-day religious festival. The Sacrifice Feast traditions in Turkey include sacrificing an animal in a special ritual, visiting relatives and helping the poor.
The Sacrifice Feast is one of the oldest Islamic holidays in Turkey. It commemorates the story about Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) who showed obedience to God by agreeing to sacrifice his son. God then sent him a ram to be sacrificed instead. The Sacrifice Feast comes about 70 days after the Ramadan Feast. According to old belief it is unlucky to get married or start a new business in the period between these two holidays.
Traditionally, on the first day of the Sacrifice Feast in Turkey, men of each family go to a mosque for a special morning prayer. Then the sacrifice ritual begins. In some regions in Turkey, people paint the sacrificial animal with henna and adorn it with ribbons. The butcher reads a prayer before slaughtering the animal. Families share about two-thirds of the animal’s meat with relatives and neighbors, and they traditionally give about one-third to the poor.
In recent years, some Turkish people started making donations to charity organizations instead of sacrificing animals. Many people in Turkey take special care to help the poor during the Sacrifice Feast.
People usually wear their best clothes during the Sacrifice Feast. They welcome guests to their homes or visit relatives or friends during the holiday. Many people in Turkey reserve the first day of the feast for visiting their closest relatives. Young people greet their older relatives and neighbors by kissing their hand as a sign of respect. Some people in Turkey may use the four-day holiday to go on a vacation.
According to current estimate, there are fewer Muslims of all ages in the U.S. than there are Jews by religion (5.7 million) but more than there are Hindus (2.1 million) and many more than there are Sikhs.
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