Stories about Bakra Eid

Are we carrying out Eidul Azha rituals the right way?

Emaciated bodies, their remains everywhere, blood flowing on already dirty streets across the city and the smell of freshly cut flesh – this is a glimpse of Karachi on the first day of Eidul Azha, aka Bakra Eid. I’ve heard that amongst sacrificial animals, this day is known as D-Day. The effects of Eidul Azha are already felt a week or so prior to the event itself. It starts when you step out one fine day and your nostrils are greeted with the oddest of stenches, until you suddenly detect the actual source of the smell: the goat your neighbour bought a ...

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If you think Eidul Azha in the US lacks spirit and tradition, you couldn’t be more wrong

Born and raised in Pakistan, one can only imagine Eidul Azha being celebrated one way, with the sacrifice of an animal in the front or backyard, right? But there are other wonderful ways to celebrate it, ways that an immigrant is familiar with, understands and appreciates all too well. I have lived in the US for over 20 years, hence I am only speaking from my experience. I have come to appreciate the festive and philosophic spirit of Bakra Eid in ways that are essential, which are maybe less obvious to some, but certainly very pertinent to the spirit of ...

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Bored of the same ol’ bbq? Spice up your Eidul Azha with these mouth-watering yet easy recipes

Eidul Azha, more commonly known as Bakra Eid in Pakistan, is that time of the year when Muslims sacrifice cattle in the remembrance of Hazrat Ibrahim (AS). But alas, the majority of the population here is either immersed in a statement marathon or avails this festival as a money-making opportunity. A growing trend has emerged nowadays, where people prefer to buy their animals a couple of days before Eid to avoid the costs and efforts required for maintenance of the animals. That doesn’t feel like it is in the Eid spirit. However, there is still a glimmer of hope. A few months ...

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Explaining Bakra Eid to a foreigner: “Why do you people sacrifice animals?”

Bakra Eid and ‘bari’  Eid are the two loving nicknames I used while referring to the feast of sacrifice all of my childhood that I spent in Pakistan, until I moved to the West and realised that people mostly referred to it to as Eidul Azha in this part of the world. I have often been asked by Americans and people from other faiths about the significance of both the Eids, and while Eidul Fitr has been naturally easy to explain, Eidul Azha not so much. Most of us growing up in liberal Muslim households do not educate ourselves, cerebrally, on the philosophy behind the Islamic rituals and practices ...

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Gullu Butt bakra, Raja the cow and our immature Pakistani media

The end of an Islamic year is marked by the performance of Hajj, an act of submission that Allah has allocated a huge reward for. Pilgrims from across the globe stand humbly before their Lord, seeking His affection. Days and nights are devoted in praising Him, whilst cutting oneself off from worldly desires and temptations. The end of this strenuous round of worship is marked by performing the qurbani (sacrifice) to honour Hazrat Ibrahim’s (AS) sacrifice. This is done not just by pilgrims but also by Muslims across the globe. However, in Pakistan, Eidul Azha has a comic side as well. A side that is mostly projected by our media. As soon ...

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From Houston to Karachi

As happens quite frequently now, my mind and heart tend to gravitate towards the next writing mission for the Karachi-Houston diaries. In fact, just the other day I thought to myself, “Perhaps you should take a break from writing a new entry. It is, afterall, a break from work too.” But as always, the muse intervened, “Write comparatively about festivities in Karachi and Houston.” And as always, the muse won. I have found ritual celebrations interesting to observe. Bari Eid (Eidul Azha) with its sacrifice of animals and meat consumption is a case in point. The ritual is not about the day itself; family members, males for ...

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18 memorable moments that define Bakra Eid in Pakistan

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. ...

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Tips to avoid indigestion on Eid

No matter how much we abhor red meat and how hard we try to avoid it all year round, Bakra Eid is the one day when belt buckles pop open, shirt sleeves are rolled up and we prepare ourselves for a day of feasting! Although this ‘once a year’ indulgence is alright, there is nothing wrong in being a bit careful with your health even for that ‘one’ day. Here are some tips to keep you healthy while you enjoy this occasional treat: Make a big jug of lemonade with a few mint leaves (no sugar or salt added) and keep ...

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Down memory lane: This Eid, enjoy my mother’s recipe of Mutton Dum Piyaza!

Each Eid reminds me of the happy times I spent celebrating Eid as a kid at my maternal grandparents’ house in Rawalpindi some 20 or more years ago. Funnily enough, it was the hustle and bustle the day before Eid that I found most exciting. Being the eldest grandchild, I believed my job was the most important one; to make sure the mehndi was prepared well in advance. This was achieved by constantly nagging my Ammi and khalas. Mind you this was not the instant cone mehndi era, a lot of time and effort was put in preparing dry ...

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A father’s wish on Eidul Azha

Azhar stood at the bus stop, waiting for the bus to come. His eyes filled with tears and standing there in the heat of the scorching sun just made everything seem even more dismal. Before he could stop himself, a helpless sigh escaped him; then, straightening his shoulders, he took a deep breath and pretended to look eagerly towards the corner of the road from where the bus was to come. Yet, as much as he tried, his mind kept taking him back to the comfort of his boss’s air-conditioned office. He still couldn’t believe that his employer had asked ...

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