Bakrid Festival of Kerala

Bakrid or Valla Perunnal also called Id Ul-Azha or the 'festival of sacrifice' is another Muslim festival celebrated by Shias and Sunnis alike in Kerala. It falls on the 10th of Dhul-Hagg, the last month of the lunar year. According to Islamic belief, to test Ibrahim's faith, Allah commanded him to sacrifice his son Ismail. He agreed to do it but found his paternal feelings hard to suppress. So he blind - folded himself before putting Ismail on the altar at the mount of Mina near Mecca. When he removed his bandage after performing the act, he saw his son standing in front of him, alive. On the altar lay a slaughtered lamb. This festival coincides with the Haj pilgrimage in Mecca. Every Muslim house wakes up with the spirit of sacrifice and festivity. Men, women and children, dress themselves in their best attire and reciting the Thakbir, proceed to the Id-Gah which is the wide open space set apart for public prayers. There are congregational prayer is held under the leadership of the Imam. At homes, ceremonial prayers and sumptuous feasts form part of the festival.