An Eid-Ul-Adha celebration in Mizoram capital Aizawl today exemplified the secular nature of Northeast Indians.
A huge function was held this morning at Mizo High School Field in observance of the Muslim festival. Interestingly, the gathering for mass prayer took place near Christian Church which signifies the religious equality that India strives to uphold.
Although a majority of Mizos belong to the Christian faith, around 10,000 Muslims reside in the state.
Eid ul-Adha - also known as Bakra Eid - is celebrated by Muslims all across the world to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s dedication to Allah.
The festival, celebrated with great enthusiasm and excitement, commemorates the story of Prophet Ibrahim's test of faith when he was commanded by God to sacrifice his son, Ismail. The belief holds that God stayed his hand, sparing the boy and placing a ram in his place.
In commemoration of this intervention, animals are ritually slaughtered. Part of their meat is consumed by the family which offers the animal, while the rest of the meat is distributed to the poor and the needy.
Sweets and gifts are given, and extended family members are typically visited and welcomed. The day is also sometimes called the Greater Eid.
In the Islamic lunar calendar, Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for four days.
Eid prayers must be offered in congregation. Participation of women in the prayer congregation varies from community to community.
Usually, India celebrates Bakri Eid a day after Saudi Arabia. With Saudi marking July 9 as their date to observe this festival, India is celebrating it on July 10.
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