22 October 2012

The Big Eid

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The eid is almost upon us, the usually quiet park next door is slowly filling up with sheep, and every afternoon the neighborhood kids come and gather round to take part in the endless pleasure of poking and prodding at them. The five-year olds in particular seem entranced by the game of child versus sheep, the children trying to topple the sheep by pushing them over, while they stand nonchalantly chewing leaves. As if seven days of torment by young boys were religiously prescribed to preceed their slaughter.

Eid al-Adha is known colloquially as the big eid, like American Thanksgiving, only with four times as much food, and with the ritual animal (sheep rather than turkey) slaughtered on your doorstep. Even the neighborhood feral cats, battered, one-eyed, always perched on top of the piles of garbage to dig up chicken bones, seem to know the holiday is coming up.

We'll be enjoying a quiet holiday of our own over the weekend. We're having a few people over for hummus, muhammara, labne, roast pumpkin salad, and Aleppo-style kebabs. The weather has finally turned cool, just right for jackets and scarves in the morning chill, but sunny and warm at lunch time. This poem came up in my podcasts this week and I liked how it captured the melancholy and beauty of fall:

In Heaven It Is Always Autumn, Elizabeth Spires

Philip Glass Solo Piano Live

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Photos of Algiers' Jardin d'Essai

2 comments:

lynn2mary said...

Thank you for explaining this holiday to us, especially since its getting the news spotlight shined upon because of the Syrian ceasefire.

Heni El G said...

Thank you for sharing these beautiful pictures of one of the great treasures of ALger.