Kurban Bayram – The Festival of the Sacrifice starts next week but what’s it all about?

Kurban Bayram – The Festival of the Sacrifice begins on Thursday 20 December – 70 days after Ramazan.

It marks the famous biblical story where God showed mercy to Abraham by allowing him to sacrifice a ram instead of his son. All over Turkey families save up and buy a sheep, goat or bull, and then take it to a licensed place where it gets its throat cut in the traditional Halal way. Some people still do this in their back yards, but that is now illegal, so the practice should start to die out in all but the most rural of locations.

Animals are then skinned and jointed, with a large proportion being passed on to the poor and the skins sent to the army/airforce.  Some of the meat is cooked up very quickly and eaten reverently.

Fethiye Belediye has allowed the Tuesday market to be used as a central point for those wishing to sacrifice an animal. If you are interested why not pop down for a look – not for the squeamish though!

The holiday will continue over the 21, 22 and 23 December 2007 when all banks and some shops will be closed for business.