January 9, 2013

0455 MOROCCO - A knife sharpener

Eid al-Adha, that means the Feast of the Sacrifice, named also in Yemen, Syria, and North Africa (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Egypt) Eid al-Kabir (the Greater Eid) is an important religious holiday celebrated by Muslims to honour the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his first-born son Ismail (Ishmael) as an act of submission to God's command, before God intervened to provide Abraham with a lamb to sacrifice instead. This happening is narrated also in the Bible in the same way.

Eid al-Adha is celebrated annually on the 10th day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the last month of the Islamic calendar, lasts for four days and marks the end of the pilgrimage to Mecca. It begins with a Sunnah prayer of two rakats followed by a sermon (khutbah). The celebrations start after the descent of the Hajj from Mount Arafat, a hill east of Mecca. Eid sacrifice may take place until sunset on the 13th day of Dhu al-Hijjah. This slaughter of a sheep, a camel, or a goat is often misunderstood by those outside the faith. Muslims say that God given us power over animals and allowed us to eat meat, but only if we pronounce His name at the solemn act of taking life, reminding us in this way that life is sacred.

The muslims choose for sacrifice their best halal domestic animals, which meet certain quality standards. The meat is mostly given away to others. One-third is eaten by family and relatives, one-third is given away to friends, and one-third is donated to the poor. The act symbolizes the willingness to give up things that are of own benefit, in order to follow God's commands, but also to strengthen ties of friendship and help those who are in need.

As Hanane say "this postcard shows a knife sharpener, one of the oldest traditional crafts in Morocco. This tradition is revived at every Feast of Sacrifice." During Eid al-Kabir, it's not unusual to see people taking up jobs they might not do during the rest of the year: some become butchers, woodcutters, coal or knife vendors, fleece merchants, haulers or... knife sharpeners.

About the stamp 

The stamp is part of a series of definitive stamps, issued on 2011.

Eid al-Adha - Wikipedia
Eid al-Adha - About.com

Sender: Hanane (direct swap)
Sent from Taroudant (Morocco), on 31.12.2012

No comments:

Post a Comment