Eid Coincides With Start Of Coldest Month In Kashmir
20 December 2007
Srinagar: Coinciding with the start of the year's coldest month, Eid-ul-Azha, the festival of the Grand Sacrifice in the Islamic calendar, will be celebrated with traditional religious zeal and fervour by Muslims in violence hit Kashmir on Friday. Defying the chill of the year's coldest month, known in Kashmiri terminology as Chilla-e-Kalaan, lakhs of devout Kashmiri Muslims would participate in the Eid prayers across Kashmir tomorrow. Chillai-Kalan (the coldest period) lasts for a period of 40 days and during this period the temperature falls some degrees below freezing point. The biggest congregation of Eid prayers would be held at Hazratbal, Srinagar where more than 150,000 people are expected to attend the prayers. Eid-ul-Azha is celebrated in commemoration of Prophet Abraham's Grand Sacrifice of his beloved son-Ismail. According to Islam's holy book Quran, Prophet Abraham showed no hesitation when Allah tested his commitment to faith and the Prophet put Ismail on the altar. Allah, however, replaced Ismail by a goat. Lambs, goats and other bovine animals are sacrificed by Muslims all over the world on this day of 10th of Zilhajja, which also marks the end of the holy pilgrimage of Hajj for a 3-million-strong congregation of the world's Muslims at Makkah in Saudi Arabia every year. Muslims in Kashmir will sacrifice goats and lambs and the raw mutton will be distributed among nears and dears and neighbours for the next two days.