An estimated two million cattle were sacrificed throughout Bangladesh during the country's largest Muslim festival, Eid Al-Adha, held on Friday (24 November).
An estimated two million cattle were sacrificed throughout Bangladesh during the country's largest Muslim festival, Eid Al-Adha, held on Friday (24 November). An unofficial explanation for the immense size of the sacrifice was that this was the first Eid Al-Adha festival in Bangladesh since a proclamation last May amended the constitution to transform the country from a secular to an Islamic state.
SYNOPSIS: On the day of the festival, large crowds gathered at Dacca's cattle market to watch the sacrifices.
In Muslim theology, an Eid is a festival day, and Al Adha is the festival of sacrifice. For those making the hajj (pilgrimage) to Mecca, the sacrifice is offered on the last day of Ihram which is the state the pilgrim enters when he comes within six miles of the Holy City.
The president of Bangladesh, General Ziaur Rahman, who came to power in 1975, arrives to worship at Bautul Mokarram, the largest mosque in the country. It was through presidential fiat earlier this year that the word 'socialism' was stuck from the constitution and replaced with a pledge for Bangladesh to adhere to the principles of Islam.
Observers in Dacca considered the huge sacrifice during Eid Al Adha was aimed at emphasising the people's faith in Islam, as opposed to socialism. Since the decree, the numbers of active worshippers in Bangladesh is said to have risen by 25 percent.