As Kurban Bayram or Eid al-Adha is one of the most important holidays in the year, I wanted to experience it up close. Yesterday I The festival, which marks the occasion and test of Abraham’s faith in God, when he was commanded to sacrifice his dearest, his one and only son Ishmael. When the obedient yet blindfolded Abraham raised the blade to slaughter Ishmael, the story goes God was merciful and replaced Abraham’s son with a ram, who was slaughtered in his place. The festival is observed on the 10, 11, 12 days of the twelfth month of the Muslim calendar, which means it comes roughly 11 days earlier for each Gregorian calendar year.
It’s only relatively recently that the sacrifice of livestock stopped being done all across the city. The streets once ran red during the festival, which might not have been easy for those with delicate stomachs. While I’m glad I witnessed it, I must admit I was feeling a little queasy after I left Ümit Kasap (butcher) in the Fatih Kadınlar Pazarı (Fatih Women’s Market). Anyway, Iyi Bayramlar!