We have been enjoying a rare 3 day public holiday here in the UAE this week. The holiday is for Eid Al Adha, which translates as the Solemn Festival of the Sacrifice. This is the second Eid holiday in the year and marks the end of the annual Hajj to Mecca.
Whilst the holiday is 3 or 4 days depending on where you are, and in which sector you work, today marks the actual (festival) day. So many families will sacrifice a goat, sheep or even a camel today, with one-third of the meat traditionally being shared with neighbours, the poor and needy. This is because the holiday commemorates the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his young and only first-born son in obedience to a command from Allah. It can be a little upsetting as a non-Muslim to see all the goats being carted around in the days leading up to the holiday, but one has to trust the guys doing the butchering know what they are doing and do it quickly.
Anyway just wanted to wish you “Eid Mubarak”!
Yes it is that time of year again. Ramadan begins today. I can’t believe that this will be my sixth Ramadan in Dubai. I am not sure where the time has gone.
But that isn’t the point of this post. I wanted to wish all my lovely readers a peaceful and successful fasting period and a blessed Holy Month.
To those of us that aren’t fasting please be mindful of our friends and colleagues who are. That means no eating or drinking in public (in the UAE at least) and the wearing of more conservative clothing please girls.
If you are spending the summer in Dubai, or visiting for that matter, and wondering where you can grab something to eat or drink during the day then I recommend reading (and saving) Foodiva’s blog post today on just this subject (thank you Samantha for the useful list).
Today, the 30th of August, has been declared the start of Eid Ul Fitr here in the UAE. The new moon was sighted last night.
Congratulations to all of you that have completed a successful fast. It’s been tough this year with the summer heat. Well done!
image source: http://tariqraheel.blogspot.com
This year Stu and I decided, well actually to be fair it was Stu who suggested, that we should try a proper traditional Iftar. We had been to Iftar last year at the end of our Fundamentals of Arabic course, but we wanted to do something a bit more interesting than the normal buffet-style meal that is on offer at most of the hotels during the holy month. Coincidentally Stu then read, and I also heard on the radio, about an Iftar meal being hosted at the Sheikh Mohammed Centre for Cultural Understanding (SMCCU) in the Bastakiya section of Dubai. This is the area in Dubai that has retained some traditional-style homes (complete with wind-towers) and is wonderful for walking tours. Iftar is the meal taken on breaking of the fast, just after sunset (Maghrib), during Ramadan. The timing of the prayer depends on the setting of the sun and is published in the newspaper each day. So we were required to be at the centre for 6.30pm, as Iftar was scheduled for 6.59pm that evening.
The holy month of Ramadan begins tomorrow, the 1st of August. I wish you all a happy and blessed month.