Thursday, October 25, 2012

SACRIFICIAL ANIMAL- A THRILL FOR KIDS WHILE IT LASTS

MAHTAB BASHIR
ISLAMABAD

A sacrificial animal, for a grown up faithful, may be just a sombre offering from a man to his Creator but for children it is a welcome guest and a thrill while it lasts. With Eidul Azha just round the corner, groups of children can be seen everywhere in the city, showing off their sacrificial animals.

Children are very excited these days and they are having a great fun in walking with their animals, patting and caressing them, feeding them and adorning them with colourful leashes, reins, strings, ribbons, henna, and other little ornaments. Unaware of the exorbitant prices of sacrificial animals and their parent’s ordeal of buying them, children are just thrilled to have them around.

This scribe learnt on Thursday after a visit to the cattle market in H-11 that the prices of animals this year are three times higher than the previous year’s. Hence Eidul Azha, like Eidul Fitre can be called an event for the children since they are the ones who have the maximum fun on these holy days. Kids’ demand for sacrificial animals started as soon as August did. These days, they can be seen boasting about prices, colours and physical features of their animals. These children are just not contented to have their sacrificial animals; they do everything to make them look ‘beautiful’ too.

“I have purchased a few ornaments to decorate my goat that my father purchased spending Rs 30,000. Now, I have adorned my animal with reins of bright colours and silver ornaments for its neck and legs,” said Hamza, a youngster. These enthusiastic children dedicatedly perform all the chores related to their animals, which include arranging for their fodder, sheltering and taking them for a walk. Talha Shakil, 10, said he had to wait all year for Eidul Azha so that he could enjoy the company of his goat. “I love to take it for a walk,” he said. He said that he along with his friends would take their animals for a walk, preferably to some nearby meadow twice a day.

Another kid, Oheed Ahmed, said he preferred to go with his parents to select the animal of his choice, suggesting it should be beautiful enough to show off. “We friends have a sort of competition among us as to whose animal is more beautiful and healthy than others’,” he said. He said it was not easy to look on when one’s animal was being slaughtered. “It’s really hard to sacrifice them but it has to be like that,” he said. Although kids usually fail to collect much Eid allowances on this Eid but they feel compensated with the company of sacrificial animals.

Eidul Azha is celebrated annually on the 10th of the last Islamic month, Zilhajj, of the lunar Islamic calendar. The celebrations begin after the Hajj on the 9th, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia by Muslims worldwide. On Eidul Azha faithful sacrifice their animals to seek Allah’s blessing. Many people have yet to buy animals because they are hoping that the prices might come down in the next couple of days.

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