Friday, November 27, 2009
From Thanksgiving to Aid al-adhaa
Here in Spain we do not celebrate (as yet) the Thanksgiving holiday. Some years ago I was asked by an American friend if we did celebrate Thanksgiving in Spain. My answer, straight, simple, was that we did not have many things to give thanks for. Alas! Those were the grey years of the “Dictadura”, Franco’s totalitarian state.
This year we did not celebrate, this past Thursday, Thanksgiving either. But some people in Spain were getting ready for celebrations just next day. Today is Aid el kebir, in Arabic العيد الكبير, the Big Feast, the Aid al-adhaa عيد الأضحى, approximately 70 days after the end of the month of Ramadan.
Some 45.000 sheep have been slaughtered according the ritual but, under the orders of the Generalitat exclusively in certified slaughterhouses all over Catalonia. A few less than last years because the economic crisis hits everybody and Muslims, immigrant o long time residents, have not been spared.
I have no Muslim neighbors—nor Americans for that matter—so around here there are no signs of festivities but, from whatever distance, I just want to wish them all a very happy celebration, roasted turkey or lamb equally enjoyable, my “besugo a la vizcaina” and nougat still one month away.