Eid Al Kabir

Today we celebrated the biggest holiday of the year here. It’s amazing how, even if we are not necessarily “celebrating” the holiday for the meaning of it, we can still appreciate the “feeling” and the excitement in the air around the time of celebration! And we are happy to celebrate with our friends who are celebrating. (Here is a link if you want to find out more about the Eid, go here )

The preparations started last week when we started seeing guys selling charcoal, grills and hay on each street corner. The charcoal and grill are for grilling the head of the sheep right after it is killed, and the hay is to feed them while they live in the houses before the day of the Eid.

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Next we start seeing sheep riding around in people’s cars, in the back of trucks and men even carry them on the motorcycles. This last week, every time we were in the car, the kids wanted to play, “spot the sheep in the craziest place”!

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And lastly, we always go to the grocery store parking lot so the kids can check out the sheep.

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Then the big Day arrives!!! This year, a friend of mine invited us to spend the Eid with them. The people here are so gracious and loving and hospitable. I am always humbled when we are invited to spend a special holiday with friends. (Especially since this holiday is like Christmas to them!) As soon as she heard we weren’t doing anything, she told us we had to come to her house. Her daughter and Lydia are friends from school, so the kids were excited as well.
They had already killed the sheep by the time we got there, but the kids really wanted to see (and play with) the head. (There are some
things that are crazy to me about my life and one of them is that my kids think its perfectly normal for a sheep’s head to be laying around and something to be poked and prodded.)

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The first meal that is eaten right after the sheep is killed is cubes of liver, wrapped in fat and put on kabobs and grilled. I have eaten this a couple of times, and have to admit, that I’m not a huge fan (but I have never liked organ meat. Thankfully my friend was a gracious host!) My friend said that they always always always eat this meal first. Every family. Every year. That is one thing I love about this culture. Their culture is so rich and beautiful and old. They have been doing the same things, the same ways for hundreds of years.

One last picture of the day. Lydia and her friend Nour.

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