Eid al-Adha: Celebration sweeps across the Muslim world

Agencies
August 11,2019

Dubai, Aug 11: Joy and celebrations are sweeping across the UAE and the Muslim world as residents and visitors mark Eid Al Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice, on Sunday.

The annual Islamic festival, which this year begins on August 11 in the UAE, sees Muslims offer a sacrificial animal (typically a goat or sheep) in gratitude for Allah’s blessings.

Eid Al Adha is named after the sacrificial ritual, one of the rites of the Haj in Makkah, Saudi Arabia, where some 2 million Muslims from around the world have gathered for the annual occasion.

Public holiday

In the UAE, Eid Al Adha is being celebrated as a four-day public holiday, from Saturday (August 10) to Tuesday (August 13).

This is the moment when residents visit each other’s homes for Eid greetings and go out for a variety of dining, entertainment and shopping options.

Cattle markets and abattoirs had already prepared days in advance for the Eid rush to buy and sacrifice livestock.

It is common practice to gift some of the sacrificial meat, donate a part to charity and consume the rest at home. The sacrificial rite is preceded by the Eid congregational prayer held in large mosques and open areas shortly after sunrise.

‘Days of Eating’

The days of Eid Al Adha — the 10th, 11th, 12th and 13th of the month of Haj — are also known “as the days of eating and drinking”.

Family lunches as well as meals or tea parties with friends at home are a main part of the festivities. Traditionally, Muslims cook some of the meat from the sacrificial animal for lunch or dinner. Many people also like to head out to restaurants.

Sweets, too, are a major flavour of Eid and shops are brimming with treats. As usual, especially in demand are traditional stuffed dates, Arabic sweets, dry fruits and chocolates, shopkeepers said. A salesman at a sweetshop in Diyafah said customers keep shopping till 4am on the eve of Eid.

Richly-decorated special Eid packaging and trays laden with sweets can be seen at the shops. Some non-Muslims are also buying sweets as gifts for Muslim colleagues and friends.

Children are in for a double treat as elders present them cash gifts called ‘Eidiya’ or ‘Eidee’.

Events and attractions
The UAE, like other Muslim countries, has organised a range of Eid events and activities.

Dubai Festivals and Retail Establishment (DFRE) is rolling out its ‘Eid in Dubai — Al Adha’ calendar of events with a focus on family fun.

There will be stage performances and roaming shows at malls, including Ibn Battuta Mall, Mercato Mall, and City Centre Mirdif, among others.

A complete line up of things to do for Eid is available on www.eidindubai.ae and on @dssoscial accounts of DFRE.

There will be fireworks at Dubai Festival City Mall on Sunday and Monday, at 8pm and 10pm.

Also, from Sunday to Tuesday, IMG Worlds of Adventure will be hosting shows between 11am and 11pm. Meanwhile, Modhesh World, a free-to-enter entertainment park at Dubai World Trade Centre, will continue to provide games, rides and entertainment throughout the Eid break and beyond.

Play areas and activations will also be offered at Children’s City, at Creek Park Gate 1, on Monday and Tuesday from 11am to 1pm, and then 4pm to 6pm.

Despite the hot weather, some families will be heading to public parks, beaches and tourist spots for an Eid getaway; while others have planned staycations at UAE resorts for the long weekend.

Online shopping is in
Shopping for new clothes and gifts is also a main aspect of Eid and this year many residents logged in for online deals instead of heading to the mall.

“We start shopping for Eid about 10 days ahead, beginning with the gifts and the new outfits to the groceries,” Alexandre LeChef, a French-Syrian public relations director and father-of-two, told Gulf News.

“I don’t want to miss out on the latest toys and must-haves, so this is what I usually pick up first, including video games, consoles and toys. We’ve also managed to find our Eid outfits, but need to get matching shoes that will please my two daughters.”

LeChef said he likes to finish his shopping early, including picking up ingredients for the traditional sweets and pastries.

Like Le Chef, Ansar Babu, a 39-year-old marketing executive from India, said he prefers to shop with his wife.

“We have families on both sides living here, and Eid is very a family affair. So we spend quite a bit of our time getting clothes for the family, and also to present as gifts to our extended family. There were quite a few sales on last weekend, and we’ve managed to get everything we wanted,” Babu said.

This Eid, Babu and his family are also focusing on renovating their house, and they so ended up making a few household purchases.

Sara Mousa, a 25-year-old Canadian-Egyptian media executive, said she loves to dress to the nines on Eid.

“I love wearing new clothes and accessorising, but had put off my purchases till the last minute. Everything seemed a tad expensive despite the sales. If I don’t find what I’m looking for, online shopping is always an option,” she said.

LeChef agreed, saying he had found a number of bargains online.

“I was able to find a few things that I couldn’t find in stores, and they were delivered the very next day too,” he added.

To ensure the safety and security of residents in the Eid rush, police departments nationwide are deploying extra units and operating special 24-hour patrols. Public transport services have also been extended to meet high passenger demand during the festive season. Meanwhile, public parking has been made free for the Eid holidays.

What is Eid Al Adha?

The Muslim festival marks the completion of rite of sacrifice during the annual Haj pilgrimage to the holy city of Makkah, Saudi Arabia. Devotees globally also sacrifice an animal, usually a sheep or goat, to show gratitude for the blessings of Islam.

Muslims believe Allah accepted a ram as a sacrifice from Prophet Ebrahim (PBUH) after he had tested him with the order to sacrifice his son Prophet Ishmael (PBUH). When he obeyed, his son was replaced by a ram.

Eid routine

The first day of Eid Al Adha starts with group Eid prayers held in larges mosques and dedicated open spaces in each emirate shortly after sunrise. Many worshippers proceed to purchase a goat or sheep (or a camel or cow, in some cases) from the livestock market so they can offer the Eid sacrifice at abattoirs.

It is recommended to gift some of the sacrificial meat, donate a part in charity and consume the rest at home. Eid dishes are a main part of festivities, as the Eid days are known as “the days of eating and drinking” in Islam.

Muslims put on their best clothes for the occasion. They also gift money to children in a tradition called “Eidiya” or “Eidee”.

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10 dead as fire breaks out at makeshift COVID-19 facility in Vijaywada

Agencies
August 9,2020

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Vijayawada, Aug 9: The number of those killed in the fire at a hotel being used as a COVID-19 facility in Vijayawada rose to 10 on Sunday, said Vikrant Patil, Deputy Commissioner of Police.

Meanwhile, the Andhra Pradesh government announced Rs 50 lakh ex-gratia each to the families of those who lost their lives in the incident.

According to Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister's Office (CMO), Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy also ordered an in-depth probe into the accident and directed authorities to take steps to ensure better medical services to the victims of the accident.

"The hotel was taken on lease and run by Ramesh Hospitals, a private hospital where COVID-19 patients were being treated. 40 patients and 10 medical staff were at the hotel at the time of the incident. 

Officials were directed to launch immediate rescue measures," said Mekathoti Sucharitha, Andhra Pradesh Home Minister Prime Minister Narendra Modi also condoled the loss of the lives in the fire mishap and spoke to Chief Minister Jagan Mohan Reddy over the phone and enquired about the accident.

The mishap took place in hotel Swarna Palace which was taken on lease and run by a private hospital for COVID patients.

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India's 2020 gold demand may hit 26-year low as prices rally: WGC

Agencies
July 30,2020

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New Delhi, Jul 30: India's gold demand in 2020 is expected to fall to the lowest level in 26 years with domestic bullion prices hitting a record high and as falling disposable incomes could curtail retail purchases, the World Gold Council (WGC) said on Thursday.

Lower demand by the world's second-biggest bullion consumer could limit a rally in global prices, which hit a record high earlier this month, although it could also reduce India's trade deficit and support the ailing rupee.

"Fast rising gold prices could act as headwinds," said Somasundaram PR, the managing director of WGC's Indian operations.

Local gold futures have jumped 35% so far this year after rising a quarter in 2019.

India's gold consumption in the first half of 2020 plunged 56% on-year to 165.6 tonnes. Meanwhile, the coronavirus-triggered lockdown also slashed demand by 70% in the June quarter to 63.7 tonnes, the lowest in more than a decade, the WGC said in a report published on Thursday.

Millions of Indians have lost their jobs or taken a pay cut after the country imposed a lockdown on its 1.3 billion people to curb the spread of the virus that has infected more than 1.5 million Indians.

Consumption is generally high during the June quarter due to weddings and key festivals such as Akshaya Tritiya, but lockdown restrictions kept shoppers indoors this year.

The weak demand in the first half could drag down India's gold consumption in 2020 to the lowest since 1994, when demand stood at 415 tonnes, Somasundaram said, adding that it is still difficult to provide an estimate for full-year demand as the coronavirus crisis is still unfolding.

"Indian demand has previously jumped as much as 300 tonnes in a quarter. Latent demand could come out in the second half," Somasundaram said.

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BCCI going ahead with women's IPL on time: Sourav Ganguly

Agencies
August 2,2020

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New Delhi, Aug 2: BCCI president Sourav Ganguly on Sunday said the Women's IPL or the Challenger series, as it is better known, is "very much on", ending speculation about the parent body not having a plan for Harmanpreet Kaur and her team.

The men's IPL will be held between September 19 and November 8 or 10 (final date yet to be locked in) in the UAE due to the surge in Covid-19 cases in India. The women's IPL will also be fit in to the schedule, according to the BCCI chief.

"I can confirm to you that the women's IPL is very much on and we do have a plan in place for the national team also," Ganguly told PTI ahead of the IPL Governing Council meeting later on Sunday.

The BCCI president, who is awaiting a Supreme Court verdict on waiver of the cooling-off period to continue in the position, did not divulge details but another senior official privy to the development said that women's Challenger will be held during the last phase of IPL like last year.

"The women's Challenger series is likely to be held between November 1-10 and there could be a camp before that," the source said.

The former India captain also said that the centrally contracted women players will have a camp which has been delayed due to the prevailing situation in the country.

"We couldn't have exposed any of our cricketers -- be it male or female to health risk. It would have been dangerous," Ganguly said.

"The NCA also remained shut because of Covid-19. But we have a plan in place and we will have a camp for women, I can tell you that," he added.

The BCCI's cricket operations team is chalking up a schedule where Indian women are likely to have two full-fledged white-ball series against South Africa and the West Indies before playing the ODI World Cup in New Zealand. 

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