Monday, December 7, 2009

3rd Installment - Gurban Bayramı

Hands down, Gurban Bayramı is the biggest Islamic holiday in Azerbaijan. I think it is observed 40 days after the end of Ramazan, but don't quote me on that. In Az, everyone takes off an entire weekend (we are talking, Thursday to Tuesday) and spends the time with their family and friends.

This past bayram, I had the awesome privledge of sharing the day with my friend Ibanez and her family. After a delicious lunch of cabbage dolma, I partook in the sheep sacrificing ceremony and then ate a delicous dinner of xəngəl and baklava (Ibanez taught me how to make baklava - it's complicated!).

Anyway, a quick religious lesson: Gurban (meaning sacrifice) commemorates the day Abraham was asked to sacrifice Isaac. In Az, a sheep is sacrificed (which Abraham did as well) and then given to impoverished families. Awesome for me! I got some sheep (and a literal sack full of persimmons. More on that later).