The sacrifice holiday

October 15th, 2013, 6pm

It was 19°C with clouds and visibility OK. The breeze was light.

Today is the first day of Eid al-Adha, “The Sacrifice Bayram” in Turkey. In homage to the prophet Abraham, who was willing to sacrifice his own son for God, people gather in the streets and slaughter animals: sheep, goats, and cows.

I woke up early to wander around and see what there was to see.

The streets are full of children. There are rudimentary altars populated with hand-written prayers and the stench is horrific. Animal stench, but something more. The iron odor of draining blood. Fear?

Cows are tied to storefronts. They shift restlessly and call fitfully to each other.

These men were quarantined behind a high stone wall, but they left the door open. When they noticed me standing there, gaping, they invited me in. One spoke English and translated for all the rest. They were excited I had researched the holiday in advance, and wanted to talk about what it meant to them.

“My girlfriend’s a vegan,” my translator said, at one point. “She’d kill me if she knew I was here.”

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Cassie Marketos

Community Manager at Hi. Traveling. Writing! Will send invites generously. Just ping @sayhi.

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