Monday, November 07, 2011 -
Muslims in Central Asia and around the world celebrated the holy festival of Eid al-Adha on Sunday, marking the end of the Hajj pilgrimage.
The Supreme Mufti of Kazakhstan Sheikh Absattar Hajji Derbisali wished all Kazakh citizens a happy holiday.
“Qurban Ayt [as the holiday is known in Kazakhstan] “is one of the greatest holidays of the Islamic world,” he said. “The holiday embodies care of relatives and compassion to the people in need.”
Believers around the region sacrificed lambs on the day of Eid al-Adha, which means “Festival of the Sacrifice,” marking Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael.
Citizens in Uzbekistan were given the day off to celebrate by a decree signed a week earlier by Uzbek President Islam Karimov.
In neighboring Turkmenistan, citizens got three days off by presidential decree.
"Marking Eid al-Adha as a public holiday is another evidence of unchanged commitment to national traditions and customs, ideals of humanism and high universal principles," the Trend news agency reported President Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov as saying in his congratulatory Eid speech.
Sunday Eid celebrations began at 7:45 am local time in Tajikistan with a festive prayer in mosques across the country, according to a ruling by the Islamic Council, the AsiaPlus.tj news agency said.
In Kyrgyzstan, the day is known as Kurban Bairam.
Eid al-Adha is one of the two most important festivals in the Islamic calendar. The other is Eid al-Fitr, “The Feast of Breaking the Fast,” which marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting.
Around 2.5 million pilgrims made the annual pilgrimage to Mecca in Saudi Arabia this year.