Eid-ul-Adha is one of our religious holidays. We celebrate it to commensurate the sacrifice, Prophet Ibrahim was willing to make in order to obey Allah. He was told by Allah to sacrifice Ismail, his son, but at the last moment, Ismail was replaced by an animal. It was his test, he passed!
We think about the obedience of Ibrahim for Allah on this day. If they are financially and physically eligible, Muslims perform Hajj (one of the five obligatory pillar of Islam), which takes up the ten days before Eid, and is also meant to honor him and his family.
For us aliens, Eid is a holiday which our kids don’t usually talk about. They know Halloween, Christmas, etc. We want our kids to remember Eid as a major celebration so they can cherish it and pass it on to their generations. This is how we celebrated Eid, hoping that it would leave a positive mark on their memory.
Usually, I prefer that my family dress up in our traditional Pakistani clothes, Shalwar Kameez, but it depends if I can find something my wallet and I will like. This year, for the very first time I bought a traditional Pakistani outfit(usually my family brings it from Pakistan during their visit in USA,but this Eid no one was visiting me) for $60. For my girls, I shopped at Sears. Hassaan got a new Ralph Lauren shirt, and hubby had Shalwar Kameez.
We went to a girl who puts on mehndi (henna) and waited for it to dry.
I like to do my cooking a night before Eid. I made sheer khorma(a milk based sweet dessert with vermicelli, nuts, and dates. I also prepared the breakfast: chickpea curry and potato curry. This is suppose to be eaten with a flat bread, which is deep fried, called puri.
My friends also organized a potluck on Eid day, so I prepared chicken Karahi (tomato based chicken curry).
I marinated some minced beef for some kabobs for Eid lunch. I usually like to do things before hand, so that if something changes in the plan, I at least have my food ready!
For sacrificing an animal, we got lucky this time and bought a goat from a guy near Khadeeja mosque. He had set up a section where we can choose a goat and he took care of it. This was the first time, ever, when we will witness the sacrifice. I was so excited. It brought memories of my childhood when we sacrifice the animal in front of our eyes.
It was almost two in the morning and I ready to roll for the morning.
Eid’s Day: (Back home we celebrate three days, but here one is the answer to all)
Woke up around 6;30. Showered. Prepared breakfast. Only the girls had breakfast, rest of us just ate some Sheer Khorma and left.
Woke everybody else. Panicked on the thought of missing the Eid prayer (It is an obligatory prayer on Eid day which occurs anywhere around 7-10am).
Phew! We made it! There were so many people from the community. Loved the environment!
After the Eid prayers, we hugged each other three times, saying Eid Mubarak. I love this. I finish my hugs with a kiss on the cheek (like my mom does it).
Back home, we ate. I got the kabobs ready for lunch. Called back home:my mom’s,my in laws, friends, and uncles. Eid Mubarak y’all!
We were told to come to the mosque at 11:30, as there would be a lot of people who have bought goats for sacrifice. We made it at noon and the process started.
The care taker grabbed the goat and off it went.
My husband was suppose to perform the actual sacrifice with a knife but he wasn’t able to it professionally. It is required to do it swiftly so that it won’t hurt the animal. So the professional person stepped in and voila, it was done!
Zoya was in complete shock. Maryam had no words. Hassaan digested it fairly well. Maryam just kept on wondering how “bad guys” can people kill human beings, it was so hard to see the goat being sacrificed! We explained to Zoya that he was a lucky goat as he went directly to heaven. That comforted her.
The inevitable happened!
I stepped with my flats on poop!
There was blood, poop, intestines, skin, and heads everywhere. Someone was bound to step on it.
There were goats hanged from trees to get skinned and cut into big chunks. Some people were there to accept meat donation (It is obligatory to divide the meat into three section and distribute to: family/friends; poor people; and your home).
Next step was to take the meat and have it cut into smaller pieces.
We took it to a local meat shop Shahrazad. There was a line. Some families have sacrificed four goats, while others were like us, uno.
I decided to leave the meat there and to pick it up tomorrow. I was all revved up: getting kids their Eid gifts,(we don’t give gifts on this celebration,it’s all about eating,but we have made some changes while living in USA) eating a light lunch: kabob(no one ate much,we were full from that heavy meal),soccer game for Hassaan, Maryam’s dance practice, and potluck!
This potluck was being planned since ten days:someone brings this, someone brings that. In the end,we had a pretty lavish meal. Appetizer;Khatay Allo(sourish/bitterish potatoes),eggplant yogurt;Main entree:Chicken karahi,Chicken Biryani,Keema(ground beef),Haleem(meat cooked with lentils),and Butter chicken;Dessert:Kulfa(a frozen milk base)Chocolate mousse,Pumpkin pie,Kheer(rice pudding).
Over the weekend,one of the mosques, UIC, had a brunch in a park.
We had a great time!
Food. Balloons. Henna. Face painting. Chatting with friends.