Muslims in Sudan and across the world are observing the Eid El Adha* holiday this weekend, which is observed according to the Muslim lunar (Hijri) calendar. It is the second and bigger of the two main holidays celebrated in Islam (the other being Eid El Fitr). In Sudan, the General Secretariat of the Council of Ministers decreed that the holiday would begin on Saturday and will continue until Thursday July 14.
Usually a festival of feasting and abundance, this year, market indicators in the ailing economy suggest that many Sudanese will be unable to afford a sheep for the traditional ritual sacrifice. In the run-up to this year’s celebration, many people in Sudan have complained about a significant increase in the prices of basic commodities as traders report a weak demand for sheep, amid a broad stagnation in the markets.
Both merchants and customers preparing for the Eid El Adha feared that not many sheep will be traded this year. Hajj Dawi told Radio Dabanga from Nyala, capital of South Darfur, that the prices of sheep at the city’s livestock market range between SDG45,000 and SDG125,000.
He predicted that prices are likely to decline due to the weak demand. “The turnout of buyers is currently much less than it was at this time in previous years.”
In Khartoum, the minimum price for a small sheep is about SDG60. An average-size sheep costs at least SDG75,000, while prices for large sheep range between SDG110,000 and SDG200,000.
*Also known as the ‘Feast of the Sacrifice’, Eid El Adha in the Muslim lunar calendar falls on the 10th day of Dhu El Hijjah. It honours the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of obedience to God’s command.(The Jewish and Christian religions believe that according to Genesis 22:2, Abraham took his son Isaac to sacrifice.) Before Ibrahim could sacrifice his son, however, Allah provided a lamb to sacrifice instead.
In commemoration of this intervention, animals are sacrificed ritually. One third of their meat is consumed by the family offering the sacrifice, while the rest is distributed to the poor and needy. Sweets and gifts are given, and extended family are typically visited and welcomed. (Source: Wikipedia)