Delhi gears up to celebrate Eid-ul-Azha Wednesday

Last Updated: Tue, Oct 15, 2013 13:20 hrs

New Delhi, Oct 15 (IANS) With markets decorated, shops aflush with trendy attires and accessories, eateries overflowing with custom, and goats on sale at cramped open spaces -- Delhi's historic old quarters are reliving the festive fervour and shopping frenzy of Eid-ul-Azha, to be celebrated Wednesday.

Shopping for favourite sweets and fresh raw mutton, from toys to the latest in clothes, cosmetics, choodiyan (glass bangles) or chappals, eager Muslims are thronging every outlet that has anything to offer from the traditional to the modern. Tiny kiosks selling trinkets in the bylanes to major markets and arcades on thoroughfares, all are doing brisk business.

For 22-year-old Sana Shakeel, Eid is the time to splurge on clothes, accessories and cosmetics.

"My mother gifted me an anarkali suit and now I am hunting for a pair of matching footwear and accessories," she said.

"Everybody wants to look their best on this occasion," added the Delhi University student.

Shakeel's family last week bought four goats which will be sacrificed Wednesday, and their meat distributed among friends, relatives and the poor and the needy in keeping with custom.

Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated to honour Prophet Ibrahim (Abraham), who was even willing to sacrifice his son Ismail to please god. According to Muslim belief, god wanted to test Ibrahim and ordered him to sacrifice his son Ismail. But just as Ibrahim was about to slit Ismail's throat, god replaced him with a goat - hence the tradition of sacrificing an animal.

The sacrificial animal being the highlight of the festival, buyers have been for the past few days crowding at the temporary goat market that comes up every year on a ground next to the historical Jama Masjid.

Open 24X7, the marketplace during these days sees a convergence of goat sellers from north Indian states like Rajasthan, Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Himachal Pradesh selling goats belonging to breeds like Mewati, Barbari, Desi, Punjabi, Totapuri, Sirohi and Himachali.

Goats and lambs priced between Rs.5,000 and Rs.10,000 constitute 80 percent of the sales.

After donating a third of the meat to the poor according to tradition, huge woks and grills are set up to prepare gastronomic delights like achari gosht, mutton stew, fried kaleji (liver) and tandoori raan (grilled lamb thigh). Savoury seviyan (vermicelli) top up the feast.

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