18 memorable moments that define Bakra Eid in Pakistan

Published: October 17, 2013

Eid is colourful; Eid is joy; Eid is food! PHOTO: REUTERS

1. Wear new Eid clothes! Take photos of family looking like a cheesy ad

Photo: xcitefun.net


2. Wake up early to go pray at the local mosque.

Photo: Shahbaz Malik/Express


3. Pray there is no terrorist attack. Keep one eye on the security…

Photo: Express/File


4. Buy a giant balloon for the house after Eid prayers (just because)

Photo: AFP


5. Exchange the first of 220 hugs with family members and friends

Photo: PPI


6. Check out celebrity hugs on TV (just because)

Photo: Tariq Hassan/Express


7. Line up the butcher(s) — get those knives and cleavers ready…

Photo: AFP


8. Say a last goodbye to the (temporary) pets

Photo: AFP


9. The man of the house usually carries out the sacrifice

Photo: Reuters


10. Slaughter…

Photo: AFP


11. Divide up the meat for storage, distribution, charity

Photo: Jashim Salam/Demotix.com


12. Stuff face with fresh kaleji! Yum!

Photo: http://subhraskitchen.blogspot.com


13. Gorge on meat and rice goodness…

Photo: chefzakir.pk


14. Run down the street to catch the big camel sacrifice

Photo: Mohammad Saqib/Express


15. Keep an eye out for beggars roaming the streets gathering meat

Photo: Reuters


16. Keep a watch out for the khaal brigade!

Photo: Muhammad Javed/Express


17. Consume a massive, meat-filled lunch and dinner!

Photo: Pinchofsalt-taz.com


18. Visit your remaining (temporary) pet, who will be gone on Eid Day two

Eid Mubarak!

Jahanzaib Haque

Jahanzaib Haque

News buff and Web Editor, The Express Tribune. Jahanzaib tweets @Jhaque_ twitter.com/jhaque_

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • S

    Nice read heheRecommend

  • blue bird

    disgusting !Recommend

  • absar

    Lame. No one even does half those things.Recommend

  • Bangalorean

    I eat all kinds of meat, including poultry, cattle, seafood and even pork. Contrary what most Pakistanis think, yes, everything is freely available here in the South of India.

    But I have never killed anything my entire life. Sometimes when I buy chicken for my family, if I spend too much time admiring the chicken, I find it difficult to eat afterwards. I go vegetarian for a few days.

    I sometimes wonder why I am not vegetarian all the time given the inherent cruelty in killing a living being solely for the purpose of food. But I have lived all my life as a non vegetarian and it is a habit that is difficult for me to get out of.Recommend

  • Ash

    May be disgusting for burger family. But we love Pakistan.Good work Mr. Haque keep it on.Recommend

  • N

    Hahahahahahaha …very nice… Hohohoho…Recommend

  • Dr.n.b.

    I read another blog on poetic license-about a father who lost his job & wanted to buy a goat for his son for Eid…It was so touching.
    I didn’t realize until I read this one,that THAT dear pet was meant to be eaten !
    Oh ,dear..why get attached to an animal meant for slaughter ? How can you eat a pet-doesn’t it make children heartless..so ghoulish.
    When I was on vacation at my grandmother’s place,I saw a duck waddling on the porch.When lunch was served,I asked if the curry was chicken & got the reply that,it was the same duck I’d seen waddling around happily,that morning.
    I sat silently,unable to eat,unshed tears filling my eyes.I was 10. My grandmother,got irritated with my ‘sensitivity’.But my mother understood.Since I saw the duck alive,I coudn’t eat.
    I haven’t eaten red meat for 25 years,now.

  • Lol

    Sorry,but how does ‘we love pakistan’ translate into appreciating slaughter ? They’re different things.
    Besides,the author is ridiculing the practice…you seemed to have missed the sarcasm in the contrasting pictures.Recommend

  • Didn’t get it

    1.What is a ‘burger’ family .. Does it mean non-traditional/modern ?
    2. You mean disgusted by the slaughter ?

  • Hmm …

    What’s disgusting-the contrast of the festival & the slaughter…or something else ?
    I think it’s a good,sarcastic article with black humour..hilarious,with the contrast of the celebration & cruelty..Recommend

  • True colors

    Author,I’d read an interesting blog,you’d penned,about censorship a few weeks ago.I wanted to re-read it,but strangely,it dissappeared the very next day …Recommend

  • Nuts

    Seriously,what kind of lunatic down votes posts,where someone is talking about their own reluctance to eat meat ?
    Who can possibly be offended by what bangalorean said about his own thought process & soul searching about what he eatsRecommend

  • Mazhar.A.Khan

    Well done Haque, our whole family enjoy your writing. It’s really gives apnaa punn.Recommend

  • Queen

    I wonder why you find it disgusting. For a Muslim, sacrificing an animal on Eid indicates a person’s willingness to sacrifice everything for Allah. We should learn to respect each other’s religious traditions rather than criticizing them.Recommend

  • Queen

    “why get attached to an animal meant for slaughter ? How can you eat a pet-doesn’t it make children heartless..so ghoulish”

    This is the point of BaqrEid. It reminds us of Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son in the name of Allah. Its true that children and even elders get attached to these “pets” [as you call them] and when these animals are slaughtered it inculcates in children the willingness to sacrifice everything in the name of Allah.Recommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    Everything aside, I
    don’t know what sort of training are parents imparting to their kids. When they
    slaughter the sacrificial animal, people, mostly kids, gather around the animal
    and jubliate and feel excited while an animal is being sacrificed. This
    attitude completely violates the essence of qurbani that Allah SWT made
    incumbent upon us. Just imagine how would one feel if we were to slit the
    throat of our own children instead of animals as per the Sunnat of Harzat
    Ibrahim (A.S.). I guess all parents should induce some compassion in their kids
    and make them understand that sacrifice is all about feeling pain, yet being
    subservient to Allah, instead of feeling excited over the slaughtering of a
    living thing, jumping up and down, and watching the spectacle as a favourite sport. No wonder our society is fast becoming so barbaric and indifferent to bloodshed -solely because the worth of life (be it an animal’s or a a human’s) is fast becoming alien.Recommend

  • Qadir

    “How can you eat a pet-doesn’t it make children heartless..”

    That’s the whole point behind sacrifice. The idea is that if you can bear loss of a beloved pet over & over every year as a child in Allah’s way, you would not hesitate to sacrifice your beloved(son in case of Abraham(AS)) for the cause of Allah.

    Ever wondered why you don’t see anyone mourning when a mujahid is martyred, not even his beloved ones. Its the sacrifices made on eid that helps.


  • gp65

    Why does the Eid congregation not have any women? Do they not go to pray?Recommend

  • JoeWynn

    Why is photo 10 & 14 is blurred to hide the sight pf blood oozing out of the animal? What is so offending? Pakistani see (even children) this gory sights all over pakistan on eid? I think public killing of animals seen by the children in their youth makes them less sensitive to the everyday ‘human sacrifices’ as seen in pakistan.Recommend

  • gp65

    Of course. Wish you all showed he same respect for other people’s cultures and traditions also. http://tribune.com.pk/story/619038/no-qurbani-for-you-police-stop-ahmadis-from-ritual-sacrificing-in-lahore/Recommend

  • nishantsirohi123

    that explains a lot

    all the honour killings and stonings and gun cultureRecommend

  • Queen

    There are good people and bad people in every religion. It is inappropriate to criticize any religion due to acts of few individuals. I am confident that if respect others’ religious values, you will always. receive positive response.

  • Emaan Abbas

    Lovely photos Jay! Made my Eid come ALIVE! Eid Mubarak! :)Recommend

  • Unknown

    Majority of Pakistanies also don’t slaughter the animal themselves. It is considered the job of Butchers to slaughter the animals for people.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    Do you eat meat Ms Haider?Recommend

  • Think again

    I liked what you explained about the logic behind the sacrifice,but I think the desired result (of teaching kids to appreciate sacrifice) isn’t being achieved-rather,the end result is undesirable-of children who have lost empathy & are hardened,by exposing tender minds to gory sights & to get habituated to getting to eat animals they have seen alive.
    Besides,there are other faiths that follow Hazrat Ibrahim-they remember the same incident-not by slitting the necks of animals their children have seen alive-but by remembering Hazrat Ibrahim’s Obedience to the Almighty (rather than the physical act of sacrifice)Recommend

  • Reader

    I’m sure Ms.Haider is a non-vegetarian,Nandita,but that’s not the point here- veg vs. non-veg.
    This is more of a topic of all non-vegetarians with the clash being between merciful,humane,painless,quick,professional slaughter vs. public/family style,gruesome,merciless spectator sports with people(& children below 21) enjoying the spectacle.
    My half Danish nieces,won’t eat meat if they see even the bone in stews-one of them,vomited.They can’t eat,if they’re reminded that it was a living animal.As a child,I too,ate meat as if its a vegetable-it’s purchased,wrapped,from supermart freezers-this is in contrast with people seeing the living animal & still being able to eat it-those are two entirely different kind of non-vegetarians.Recommend

  • Anon

    Maybe criticism leads to reforms being implemented & changes for the better.Recommend

  • Anon

    Experienced butchers doing it professionally in private is certainly better,than it being done in front of people,esp.children who’re going to eat the animal.
    But you can see the caption on,one of the pictures above that says,that a person of the family is going to do the deed..not the butcher.Recommend

  • Ali Syed

    Some get it, some don’t. It’s ok. Eid Mubarak everyone! :DRecommend

  • Talat

    agree with the comment absolutely!Recommend

  • Parvez

    Thank you for saying what needed to be said.
    Saw the pictures yesterday , upset me, could not think of a proper reply and today I read your comment…………thank you again.Recommend

  • Nope

    Here,the acts of a ‘few individuals’ are govt. supported; so it can’t be viewed as a personal choice to act aggressive.They are govt.servants & the constitution & laws support their action-so,saying that it’s the act of a few individuals is highly misleading.Recommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    Beef and mutton =NO
    Chicken and fish =YesRecommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    Thank you for clarifying on my behalf. And btw, I don’t eat red meat but yes, I am a fan of chicken and fish.Recommend

  • X

    I heartily agree and wish and pray that respect for all religions and cultures can be inculcated in all children but this was not the point of this discussion. Anyway, greater respect for your own religion and the humility which ‘Bakra eid’ is meant to make one feel would lead to greater respect for all other religions. Beliefs are sacred for a person and must be respected.Recommend

  • X

    I saw the news on police stopping Ahmedis and was appalled and saddened. I know this country too well to hope that the police will be punished or that a larger, widespread movement and awareness of others’ rights will be started to prevent such incidents and get rid of such attitudes in people. What is needed is a social movement/awareness campaign. We can do our part by engaging our servants/parlour ladies/secretaries and janitors at offices/tailors/shopkeepers,etc in these discussions because grassroots awareness is the key.Recommend

  • x

    Women have the option of praying at home or going to mosques but most women stay at home to pray. In most families, more than ‘women stepping out’, issue is that since they do have the option to pray at home, it’s more convenient along with getting eid snacks ready and getting dressed, etc.Personally I think women are vain and getting all ready before going to mosque so early would be hard for them whereas men just have to bathe and wear their new clothes. Also, traditions have evolved in such a way that women sending their men out to pray has become a norm. Interestingly, I didn’t know women can go to mosque for normal prayers until a few years ago when a friend told me. I have never been to a mosque ever but iA will go next eid.Recommend

  • Uneasy eater

    I’m a non-vegetarian,Nandita,but I have many problems with slaughter. For eg,my neighbour who grew in France,is very particular about the life of the chicken-ie did it have a happy life in the sunny country side & was it decapitated in a lightening strike rather than having its throat slit for a slow death.Another friend of mine feels uneasy to purchase chicken from the butcher’s,since she can’t order a killing-so she purchases supermarket,frozen chicken (which paradoxically has had a lifetime of suffering in contrast to a country chicken)
    I have immense personal issues with large animal slaughter-they are too big to be killed quickly-so I’ve given up eating all animal meat & stick to chicken & fish.My husband jokes that I may eventually ‘go tofu’ & stop chicken as well ,since it’s hard to find birds that lived happily & died painlessly.Recommend

  • Ajay

    How about sacrificing your fingers..That would make for 10 eids at least!!Recommend

  • Ajay

    few !!????????????????Recommend

  • Ajay

    That’s the problem with being a non-vegetarian. It is a habit difficult to get out of. But people do it just like Maneka Gandhi did it. Smokers quit smoking once they see pictures of blackened lungs. Some people in west are able to get rid of non-veg taste and switch to complete vegetarianism.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    I understand where you’re coming from Ms Haider.. Making a spectacle is loathsome but my point is that I do not understand how slaughter of animals can be classified under two heads – ‘humane’ slaughter or Gruesome slaughter. In my mind slaughter is slaughter – it’s a defenseless animal that is being killed , how can it be humane? Making a spectacle is definitely despicable but then again ‘humane’ methods of killing can’t be lauded either. Even in cases where ‘Merciful’ methods of killing are employed, the lesson the children learn is that it’s acceptable to kill mute creatures (who can’t defend themselves) for the sole purpose of feasting on them. What they learn is that it’s okay to oppress those who are powerless.
    Secondly, We can sacrifice what is rightfully ours , the animal’s life does not belong to you or me or anyone else. How can we sacrifice something that never belonged to us in the first place?
    Lastly, a lot of Hindus eat non vegetarian food as well ( including members of my immediate family ) so I hope you do not misunderstand my comment and hopefully the commenters will not turn this into a ridiculous religious debate ..This is a debate which I ( a vegetarian ) have with friends and the few family members who do eat non veg. I’m not judging anyone here – just trying my level best to understand WHY people kill ? WHY O WHY ?Recommend

  • Queen

    I agree that what the police did to people was wrong. Indian friends have pointed out that the law enforcement officials are government servants and their actions are supported by the government and the constitution. I would like them all to tell me if it is true that the massacre of Muslims carried out in Gujarat and Kashmir by ‘government servants’ was also supported by the Indian Government and the Indian Constitution?

    Kindly read the Constitution of Pakistan, I am sure you will understand my point.Recommend

  • Parvez

    Why ??? …..because when man was plonked onto earth he was a carnivore, a hunter and that’s just how it was. Possibly man eating the meat of animals is a way devised by nature itself to keep the whole system in balance – very important.
    On the sacrificing thingee……..I’m with you.Recommend

  • Samjhe ?

    Madam,someone has already explained it-they eat it like it’s a vegetable.They don’t think,it used to be a living thing.
    One set of people grow up &come across pictures of gory slaughter,get disturbed & develop a conscience-they switch to seafood/poultry/avoid halal slaughter& stay queasy life long about seeing live-to-be-eaten animals;while other set of people,don’t sprout a conscience,get excited & enjoy the gore- these people carry on eating animals they see alive/red meat/large 4 legged animals,which are hard to kill painlessly & die slowly. If you still can’t understand & say ‘slaughter is slaughter’,I don’t think you’ll get a better explaination than this anywhere.Recommend

  • Sarah B. Haider

    I understand your viewpoint, but killing or not killing animals for food consumption is a different debate (without bringing religion in). I never talked about humane or inhumane way of slaughtering but I wanted to point out the way the ritual is carried out at this very occassion of Eid. I expressed my opinion in a very religious context and I was not representing myself as an animal rights activist. I despise the way children as well as adults watch the slaughter with excitement and happiness. I have seen children getting up as early as 6am in the morning solely because they “like” to see the ritual of scarifice. Sacrifice should be about feeling pain. There’s nothing to rejoice about it. This is what parents have to teach their children -sacrificing something they hold precious. This is the essence of this religious ritual, which requires a follower to perform it WITHOUT losing compassion. It’s not about brutally killing an animal solely to feast on it -and this very essence is fast evading.
    Hope I made my point clear :)Recommend

  • Bangalorean

    Does your constitution afford anything to anyone who is not Muslim?Recommend

  • Nandita.

    Times have changed since then… Would’ve thought eating habits would’ve evolved as well.Recommend

  • I m nobody

    I dont have enough courage to live in a locality where animals r slaughtered so openly and even kids enjoy surrounding it watching all barbaric activity.If a pic like this can make me vomit,wonder what will happen to me after seeing this live.I m a vegetarian of course Hindu ,never brought up in such environment.In near my village goats were slaughtered on the occasion of durga puja as bali ritual but now it is ban today after intervention of local authority.Recommend

  • Nandita.

    You said ‘performing the ritual without losing compassion’… in my opinion, the minute one decides to slaughter an animal for whatever reason, he or she automatically loses compassion.Real compassion would be to NOT slaughter at all.
    Even if one does not celebrate and does not enjoy torturing the animals or jump up and down with joy on seeing the animal’s pain it is still does not make
    One compassionate.. one may not enjoy seeing the animal being slaughtered but it is still being consumed later..so I don’t see compassion either way (although I get your point.. celebrating the killing is indeed barbaric)
    Sorry, it was ‘reader’ who had referred to the point of humane vs inhumane killing etc. My apologies :)


  • Ignorant

    1. A riot is carried out by the public(in retaliation for muslims who burnt 58 hindus on that godhra train)-not govt.officials.
    2. Going by your explanation,why not look to Africa/Syria/Egypt& all the atrocities going on there-every Pakistani can have the luxury to explain away each atrocity in their homeland on the basis of all the horrors there,rather than just a handful by quoting Godhra,ad nauseum.Hmm..?
    3. I don’t need to read about the constitution of Pak,while I know that to get a pak passport,a proud citizen signs a paper that denounces his Ahmadi countryman as a ‘non’-muslim.Recommend

  • You have a point

    Maybe in 500 more years ?
    Since people are fed meat as children,they find it hard to let go of the habit..So horrified adults may switch to poultry…but to stop completely is like giving up pizzas/chips/icecream for life…
    If kids aren’t fed meat,I think,it’s easier to remain vegetarian as an adult, life long.Recommend

  • You have a point

    I guess,you could just consider it as various grades of reluctance towards eating meat..
    1. Total vegetarian
    2. Reluctant about slaughter,eats poultry/fish
    3. Unbothered by slaughter,eats everything
    4. Likes to watch/participate-barbarianRecommend

  • gp65

    Thanks that was informative. This is because my Muslim friends here in US go to the mosque together on Eid. So this was an interesting cultural insight. Thanks again.Recommend

  • Javid

    What is the big deal. Just kill and eat and enjoy fresh meat.Recommend

  • Vikram

    Well killing an animal in no way indicates a person’s willingness to sacrifice any thing. It is the poor animal that sacrificed his life to fill stomach of men kind. How many Muslims will pay just to kill an animal and not eat it? I am sure men did not eat meat before cooking was discovered. It probably took 1000s of years for mankind to learn about how to start a fire. Thousand more years to learn to cook.
    Animals who eat other animals have teeth that can cut into the raw meat.Recommend

  • Vikram

    Big difference in willingness to sacrifice a son and a goat or cow.Recommend

  • Satesh Kumar

    So you tell me that there is a difference b/w “red meat” and that of meat of chicken and fish..!! Because meat is the flesh of animals so either chicken and fishes are out of the animals category or is it something else?Recommend

  • SBH

    I talked in my own religious context and a lot of people here are trying to prove it wrong by dragging their own religious concept of vegetarianism just for the sake of it. You are clearly not getting my point because you are not aware as to why we sacrifice animals on Eid. The background of sacrifice on Eid ul Azha is not for the purpose of eating per se.
    Besides, I am entitled to my opionion, and even if you disagree, dragging a vegetarian versus non vegetarian debate is simply off topic.Recommend