There are only a few days left before Eid al-Adha. Every Arab and Islamic society has its own social customs and traditions, which incorporate heritage from the past to create a joyful Eid celebration for the present generations.
Eid represents not only a religious ritual, like the religious holidays of other nations, but also the importance of family coherence. Eid celebrates communication between relatives and the happiness of children, which is one of the factors that make Eid such a great occasion.
Unfortunately, this Eid is happening curing a bad economic situation that limits the joy of the people. Ja’alat Al–Eid, special sweets eaten during Eid, is a repeated word on every Yemeni’s lips. They are also promoted in the market where vendors are competing to show their goods to attract shoppers’ attention.
With the approaching of Eid, Ja’alat Al–Eid become a concern for Yemeni families because they consider it a necessary supply for a joyous Eid. The holiday would not be complete without it.
Samirea Abas, a mother of eight, said that she had nothing to say, only that the Eid is Eid of wellness. “I used to buy the best Ja’alat Al–Eid in the past, but now I am looking for the cheapest kind of sweets and buy only the important kinds like raisins.”
Raisins are considered the most important kind of Ja’alat Al–Eid. Abdurahim, a trader, said that Yemeni raisins are expensive but are also the best. Yet people are becoming more concerned with price than quality.
According to him, people have started to buy Chinese raisins because it’s cheaper. A kilogram is 1,000 riyals while Yemeni raisin costs at least 5,000 for the best quality.
Another economic difficulty during Eid is buying sheep for sacrifice. A sacrifice honors the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his young first-born son Ismail as an act of submission to God’s command before God then intervened to provide Ibrahim with a lamb to sacrifice instead. It became Sunnah and now all Muslims sacrifice on this day. However, lambs are very expensive and most people have stopped sacrificing. Instead they buy prepared meat to celebrate Eid.
Despite economic difficulties, there are many remaining joyful traditions. A’asb is money given to children and women on Eid to show gratitude. This has been a tradition for a long time, and a man might give a’asb to his daughters, wife, mother, sisters and female cousins as well as children.
Many people also go to parks. Not everyone has the ability to travel and those that choose to stay home instead go to parks with their families. Public gardens and parks are the only choice for a lot of families in the capital Sana’a, many of those residents leave in the countryside and other cities during the holiday. But residents of some provinces lack parks in their vicinity, so they make a slight change in their Eid activities by visiting each other. Now, al-Sabeen Park has two more new areas where people can spend time.