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Bakrid

Bakrid, or Idul-Azha, the festival of sacrifice, is the second of the two festivals of Islam. This festival is observed by Muslims all over the world. It falls on the 10th of Dhul-Hagg, the last month of the lunar year. It is celebrated in commemoration of Abraham's willingness to offer his only son as a sacrifice at God's command. In Kerala as in other parts of the world, this day dawns with the resounding of Thakhir (Allahu Akbar), the declaration that God is great. Every Muslim house wakes up with the spirit of sacrifice and festivity. Men, women and children dress themselves in their best attire and reciting the Thakbir, proceed to Id-Gah which is the wide open space set apart for public prayers. The whole atmosphere is filled with the resonance of "Allahu-Akbar". The Assembly then prepares for the congregational prayer led by the Imam. After the ceremonial Id prayer, the leader addresses the devotees, exhorting them to be conscious of their duties to God and follow the example of Abraham. The prayer and the sermon over, the gathering change greetings and as an expression of affectionate brotherhood, hug each other. The festivities at home commence after the ceremonial prayer with hearty feasts followed by social visits. Women enjoy this occasion by paying visits to the neighbouring houses for a song and a dance. All festivals of Islam have some religious significance and are occasions to express their gratitude to God. In Kerala on the occasion of Bakrid, special meetings are held in which distinguished members of sister communities participate. This occasion serves to foster brotherly relationship among members of various communities. A spirit of tolerance, mutual understanding and universal brotherhood pervades such gatherings.

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