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Animal Pazar

Animals, Family, Traditionsemily kisa3 Comments

The day before the Kurban Bayram/Feast of the Great Sacrifice started we had to look for our "sacrifice" animals. We went to two local farms but they were sold out so we ended up heading to the hayvan pazar/ animal pazar. Which is basically an area that turns into a mini stock yard with temporary stalls made by the individual vendors. This is a deep rooted tradition of haggling over the animals whether it be cows, sheep or goats.

There were many different breeds of sheeps and goats(I was surprised to see so many goats actually). One sheep goes from around 300-500YTL(around $200-$350). One cow can be up to around 3,000YTL and sometimes several families cooperatively buy one unless you can buy one yourself of course. Most buy male animals although the females are cheaper.

Here is Caglar haggling for our sheep, one for Baran the nephew from his father and one for Ali's health. To thank god for him to still be alive, it really is a miracle.

Sacrificing animals goes far back in human history that its beginnings are now unknown. This basis for the Sacrifice holiday among Jews, Christians, and Muslims is the story of Abraham. One day god asked him, to test his faith, to sacrifice what was dearest to him and that was his son, Isaac. But just as Abraham was about to slit the boy's throat, an angel appeared and pointed out that there was a ram caught in a nearby bush; it was to be sacrificed instead. And it was. The supposed lesson learned is trust in god and accept what he deals out to you even though it may be the worst thing you can think of.(these facts were taken from the Hurriyet Daily News) hmmmmmm...

After several pokes and prods of the sheep, feeling for meatiness. You don't want your sheep too thin or too fatty, just nice juicy meat...blah!!!! They are spray painted with a number or your name if you can't take them just then. Some people shoved the tied sheep in their cars or hired trucks to transport the livestock for this ritual takes place in the garden of your house. Except in recent years there have been several restrictions but on the festival especially for the big cities. The sheep herders can no longer herd through the neighborhood and slaughtering can only be done at designated areas. But we live in the country with lots of space so...

Click HERE for some interesting pictures of Muslims preparing for the festival around the world

We also had to get the knives sharpened in preparation for tomorrow's festivities. He set up a little stand on the street charging 2 YTL per knife.

So these are the two sheep we ended up with. A man delivered them at night with his tractor. We didn't have time to get too attatched. But Caglar told me stories about when him and his friend's were little. As Kids they would have the sheep for days and walk them around the neighboorhood together. They got attatched. Sometimes they would fight them too since they are rams. I laugh everytime I think of my husband as an adorable child(seen photos) walking his sheep around the neighboorhood with his friends and their sheep. And then tomorrow is hard...