Eid of sacrifice and joy
Muslims in Bangladesh are set to celebrate the Eid-ul-Azha, the second most important festival in the Islamic calendar, with prayers and the ritual sacrifice of animals.
On this day, Muslims traditionally sacrifice animals to commemorate Prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to obey Allah’s command by sacrificing his son Ismail.
Much of the meat will be distributed to the poor or shared among families.
However, residents of more than 100 villages celebrated the festival on Thursday in keeping with Saudi Arabia.
Millions of people have already left the capital and other major cities for their ancestral homes in towns and villages to celebrate the Eid with their families.
Railway stations, bus and launch terminals were overcrowded for the last few days as holidaymakers headed for their destinations.
Homegoers, mostly north-bound passengers, also suffered most in long gridlocks on the highways due to bad weather, road accidents and breaking down of vehicles.
The three-day Eid holiday began on Thursday.
The celebrations on Friday will begin with the Eid congregations across the country.
The biggest Eid congregation will be held at Kishoreganj’s Sholakia like previous years.
Another 100,000 people are expected to attend the congregation at Faridpur’s Bishwa Jaker Manjil at 10am.
In Dhaka, the National Eidgah will host the main congregation at 8am Friday. In case of bad weather, it will be held at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque at 8:30am.
President Md Abdul Hamid, Supreme Court judges, Cabinet members, MPs, politicians and people from all walks of life are expected to attend that congregation.
The Met office said there were little chances of heavy rain in the morning. However, the forecast does warn of slight rain in some parts of the country..
Baitul Mukarram’s senior Imam Maulana Muhammad Mizanur Rahman will conduct the main Eid congregation, the Islamic Foundation has said.
Like every year, the national mosque will also host five consecutive congregations every hour starting 7am.
Eid prayers will be followed by slaughtering of animals.
Cattle markets in Dhaka witnessed a rush of buyers on Thursday. Buyers complained that prices of sacrificial animals rose on the eve of the Eid over previous days.
The traders said the price was fine but they did not make the kind of profit they had expected.
The government has already designated 493 spots in the capital Dhaka for animal slaughtering and requested the citizens to use those.
Dhaka South City Corporation Mayor Sayeed Khokon has promised to clean up animal wastes by Friday evening..
President Hamid, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Opposition Leader Raushon Ershad, and BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia have greeted the people with separate messages on the occasion of Eid.
The president will begin exchanging Eid greetings with people from all echelons of society at the Bangabhaban from 10am.
The prime minister is currently in New York to attend the UN General Assembly. She will exchange Eid greetings with Bangladeshi expatriates there.
BNP chief Khaleda is in the UK for a health check-up. She exchanged Eid greetings in London with expatriate leaders and workers on Thursday.
Dhaka Metropolitan Police Commissioner Md Asaduzzaman Mia said they will deploy 12,000 personnel to ensure the capital’s security during the Eid holidays.
The national flag will be hoisted at important public and private buildings. Roads and important establishments have already been decorated ahead of the festival.
Special meals will be served at hospitals, prisons, and shelters.
Television and radio stations have been broadcasting special programmes ahead of the Eid while newspapers, too, have published special editions.