Dhaka, Oct 26 (bdnews24.com)–Muslims in Bangladesh will celebrate Eid-ul-Azha, one of the most auspicious festivals in the Islamic calendar, starting from Saturday for three days with prayers, feasting and visiting with family and friends.
Eid-ul-Azha, translating to the ‘festival of sacrifice’ – the second biggest religious festival of the Muslims – is popularly known as Kurbanir Eid or Bakra Eid in Bangladesh.
It commemorates the willingness of Prophet Hazrat Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Hazrat Ismail to Allah. But the Almighty spared Ismail. The ritual slaughters of cows, goats and sheep, symbolises the ram Allah allowed Ibrahim to kill rather than his own son.
The Eid celebrations began after the Hajj pilgrimage came to an end on Friday. Some 2.5 million pilgrims from across the world stoned pillars representing Satan in the Saudi holy city of Mina in a
ritual that is an emulation of Hazrat Ibrahim’s stoning of the devil at the three spots where he is said to have appeared trying to dissuade him from obeying God’s order to sacrifice his son.
Although most Bangladeshis will celebrate the Eid on Saturday with festive cheer, thousands celebrated the festival in an isolated way at a number of places in the country.
The Eid was celebrated in a few villages in Bhola, Patukhali, Madaripur, Chandpur and Barguna districts in line with the Saudi Arabian calendar on Friday.
Like the previous years, the biggest Eid congregation will be held at the historic Sholakia Eidgah ground in Kishoreganj district town, for which the arrangements have been made.
The National Eidgah ground will host the main Eid congregation in the capital Dhaka at 8:30 am, where President Mohammed Zillur Rahman, Ministers, MPs, Supreme Court judges, diplomats, senior politicians and other distinguished persons will say their special Eid prayers.
Five more Eid assemblies will take place at the Baitul Mukarram National Mosque. The first gathering will be held at 7am, the second one at 8am, the third at 9am, the fourth at 10am and the last at 11am.
Khatib of Baitul Mukarram Prof Moulana Muhammad Salahuddin will conduct the Eid prayers.
Acting Commissioner of the Dhaka Metropolitan Police (DMP) Abdul Jalil told bdnews24.com security arrangements have been in lace in the National Eidgah and other parts of the city.
“Stringent security measures have been taken to check attempts to smuggle raw skin and hides of sacrificial animals out of the city,” he added.
This year, the supply of sacrificial animals in the city’s makeshift cattle markets almost doubled compared to the last year, leading to a drastic fall in the expected profit margin of the livestock farmers and traders.
President Rahman and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina greeted the nation and the Muslim world on Eid in separate messages. They wished peace, progress and prosperity for all. Leader of the Opposition Khaleda Zia, leaders of different political parties and socio-cultural organisations also greeted the people.
In his message, the President called upon all to follow the teachings and ideals of the holy Eid-ul-Azha in their lives every day. “The future generations would have to be inspired with these teachings and ideals,” he said.
Prime Minister Hasina, in her message, said the grand instance set by Hazrat Ibrahim by sacrificing his dearest thing for the satisfaction of Allah will be imitated and followed forever.
“Through the festival, the capable Muslims ensure equality for all and practise compassion by distributing meats of the sacrificial animals among relatives and neighbours,” she said.
The Prime Minister called upon the countrymen to build a discrimination-free happy and prosperous Bangladesh by participating in people-oriented activities as well as realising the essence of Eid-ul-Azha.
In a message, BNP Chairperson Khaleda Zia said, “Eid-ul-Azha returns to us every year with its great glory of sacrifice. The main teaching of Qurbani (sacrifice) is to devote self to the welfare of the humanity shunning selfishness.”
“It’s our duty to engage ourselves in establishing peace and harmony in society avoiding envy, conflict, greed and grudge,” she said.
After offering the prayers, President Rahman will host two receptions at Bangabhaban to exchange Eid greetings. Dean of the diplomatic corps, ambassadors and high commissioners of different countries in Bangladesh and chief of international organisations will attend the first reception beginning at 10:30am.
People of all walks of life will join the second reception starting from 11 am.
The Prime Minister will exchange greetings with people from all echelons of society, including party leaders and workers, judges and foreign diplomats, at her official Ganabhaban residence.
Hasina, also the President of the ruling Awami League, will first exchange Eid greetings with her party leaders and activists as well as the people of all strata from 9am to 11am. Later, she will exchange greetings with judges and foreign diplomats from 11am at the same venue.
BNP chief Khaleda will exchange Eid greetings with people from all walks of life at the city’s Ladies’ Club. She will first exchange pleasantries with foreign diplomats in Dhaka from 11:45am to 12:30pm and then with a cross-section of people, including eminent citizens.
On the occasion of the Eid, city streets will be illuminated and national flags flown atop in the government and non-government buildings.
Bangladesh Betar (Radio), Bangladesh Television, private TV channels will broadcast special programmes while different newspapers will publish special supplements on the occasion.
During the Eid holidays, readers can get updated news on bdnews24.com.
A government press release said that special diets would be served at different hospitals, jails, safe homes and destitute welfare centres on the occasion.
Underprivileged children of society can visit all children parks under Dhaka City Corporation and Dhaka Museum free of charge.
The government earlier announced a three-day holiday for the officials and employees of government and non-government organisations.
Most city dwellers left the capital for their village homes to celebrate the Eid with their near and dear ones.