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How Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha abroad

On the 10th of Dhu al-Hijjah Muslims get to celebrate Eid al-Adha, a feast that is very particular. Muslims around the world meat with friends and family, pray and sacrifice an animal. Even those who are residing abroad manage to create their own version of the Eid.

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How Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha abroad./Ph. AFP- Gerard Julien

Muslims living abroad do have their own version of Eid al-Adha, a feast during which families pray and sacrifice an animal as one of the rituals set by Shariaa law. Being away from home though is not an excuse to not celebrate the Eid. Muslims and most precisely Moroccans tend to pray together meet with families and slaughter their sheep.

To know how Muslims spend the day of Eid al-Adha abroad, Yabiladi spoke to several Muslim associations in European and American countries namely Finland, Germany, and the USA.

Eid al-Adha in Europe

Despite the limited resources and difficulties, Mustapha Adam a member of the Muslim Association of Finland and Baltic Countries, told Yabiladi that celebrating Eid al-Adha is a must. «People gather every year outside and in gardens to eat, play and celebrate this holy feast», Mustapha said. Muslims in the Baltic country either go to the countryside to slaughter their animals (most of the time sheep) or travel to neighboring countries that allow Muslim slaughtering such as Lithuania, the southernmost country of Europe’s Baltic States or Estonia, a country that borders the Baltic Sea and Gulf of Finland, according to Mustapha Adam.

«We generally pray in a football field and after the slaughtering we do a barbecue and spend the day all together», he said. «We have activities for children and we try our best to make the day enjoyable for everyone that is the spirit of the Eid», Adam concluded.

Not far from Finland the Muslim community in Germany gets to celebrate Eid al-Adha too. This time we spoke to Assila Mohammed, former president and a current member of the Central Council of Muslims in Germany, who explained how Muslims and most precisely Moroccans celebrate the Eid. «Muslims go to farms to slaughter their animals under the supervision of certified vets and sometimes the police», Assila declared.

In Germany and as Assila explained, the government impose on Muslims «Electrical Stunning», a process done by sending an electric current through the brain or heart of the animal before the slaughter. A technique that Assila and other Muslims in Germany find «inappropriate» arguing that «the electrical shock might harm the animal and lead to its death before the slaughtering».

When asked about the festivities of the Eid abroad, Assila assured that Muslims and especially Moroccans gather to celebrate the annual event. «After praying, and slaughtering our animals we gather to enjoy the day. Some of us bring traditional dishes, we try to have fun, eat and exchange ideas», he concluded

Celebrating Eid al-Adha in the USA

Muslims in the USA are also active during Eid al-Fitr. The Maghreb Association of North America (Manachicago), based in Chicago is organizing a Program for its members. The community will have to reserve and buy online sheep for $295 (2752,41 Dirhams), and then go to a farm 90 miles away from MCC to perform the Eid’s rituals. The association has designed a program for Muslims called «The Farm Eid Program» which includes the following «slaughtering at 11 PM, Launch at 2 pm and activities for kids».

Other association in the USA will also participate to the Sacrifice Feast, one of them is the Islamic Society of North America (INSA). Contacted by Yabiladi, the association explained how most of the people celebrate the Eid in the USA. «Muslims go to butcheries to get their animals slaughtered and done for the day that they reserved before hand of course», said a source from the ISNA. «We have different communities here and each of them do different things when it comes to celebrating the Eid, however, they all gather during the Eid, pray and attend Khotba», the same source concluded.

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