Cyprus Mail

Week-long celebrations for Kurban Bayrami

Around 1,000 Muslims living in the Republic celebrating the first day of Kurban Bayrami at a service in the Olympiakos football field in the moat of old Nicosia on Monday (Christos Theodorides)

Northern Cyprus entered a week-long holiday from Monday as Turkish Cypriots prepared to celebrate the Muslim religious holiday of Kurban Bayrami.

The Kurban Bayrami or the Feast of Sacrifice, officially began on Monday and lasts for four days, but as this year September 16 was declared a holiday, the festive season will last nine days in total. The last working day in the north before the holiday was Friday.

On Thursday Turkish Cypriots will make a pilgrimage to the Hala Sultan mosque in Larnaca.

The Feast of Sacrifice is considered to be the holiest of Muslim holidays and honours the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to God. In many parts of the world Muslims sacrifice animals whose meat they divide into three parts; one third goes to relatives, another third to the poor and the family keeps the final third.

The mufti of the Turkish Cypriots, Dr Talip Atalay, said in his message on the occasion of the holiday, that this was an opportunity for a spiritual journey and to spend time with family.

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