Feast of the Sacrifice
Posted by adiamondinsunlight on December 19, 2007
Its Eid in Lebanon today, at least for Sunnis. (Shi’a will celebrate the start of the holiday tomorrow. The two sects are usually a day apart, the product of a long-standing feud between Saudi Arabia and Iran. Who knows – perhaps the new rapprochement will mean a non-sectarian moon sighting one day!)
And Eid for Sunnis means Eid for all, at least in terms of official holidays. I have two days off from work, and many – although not all – shops are closed. The salon where I go for pedicures is located in lower Gemmayze, though – and I’m hoping its hyper-Christian location means that they will be open for business tomorrow so I can have fresh toes for the holidays.
I left my house this morning just in time to be stopped by a massive cavalcade of tinted-window SUVs, carrying some special someones to the downtown mosques for Eid morning prayers. Three white Land Cruisers, three beige Yukons, two motorcycle cops and one ISF car with its back windows open so its passengers could scan for … what … the IED’ed car that just blew up the SUVs in front of them?
No visible machine guns, no anti-IED Big Mac containers on the SUVs’ roofs. I’m not exactly a counter-terrorism expert, and I doubt that any of Lebanon’s usual suspects would want to assassinate a major political figure on Eid, but … perhaps the zu3ama here should ask the US to send some real security advisers over here, rather than the NSA.
Anyway. The caravan ended, trailed by a rather embarrassed looking royal blue Jeep Grand Cherokee – some poor civilian stuck taking the same route, with much less fanfare – and I continued on my way.
This is the big Eid, the feast that commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son (for Christians and Jews, that son was Isaac; for Muslims, Ismail). Its hard on the Muslim world’s sheep population, but a great celebration for humans.
As a result, fireworks and other booming noisemakers started going off a little after 12:30 this afternoon – not an official display, I imagine, since they’re not all that visible in broad daylight :), but celebratory nonetheless.
I’ve stocked up on my own holiday fireworks collection – except that these firecrackers are used INDOORS, on birthday cakes.
Imagining sparklers? Think again. Each of these is like a small blowtorch – enough firepower to finish off a creme brulee or a New York studio.
Eid Mubarak and Merry Christmas with love and fire extinguishers for all 🙂