Suomalais-afrikkalainen kulttuurikeskus ja taiteilijaresidenssi

Villa Karo

Happy Easter! And memories of last autumn’s Tabaski

Boubè preparing the Tabaski lamb

Boubè preparing the Tabaski lamb

Last October 26th the residents of Villa Karo got the opportunity to participate in the Tabaski celebration as Villa Karo’s guardians Boubé and Abdullaye, who belong to the Muslim minority in Benin, invited them to join the religious feast. Two lambs were prepared on open fire and tasty Fulani cheese was served for the vegetarians.

Tabaski is one of the most important celebrations of the Muslim year. This day – the date of which varies from one country to another from and year to year– is to commemorate the prophet Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his young and only firstborn son in obedience to a command from God. It marks the end of the annual pilgrimage, Hajj to Mecca.  Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam and each able-bodied Muslim is supposed to carry out this duty and head to Mecca at least on in the lifetime, if this is financially realisable. For the Tabaski celebration, a sheep, cow, goat, buffalo or camel is sacrificed in the name of God. One-third of the meat is given to friends and neighbors and one-third or more of the meat is donated to the poor and needy.

With a resemblance to Easter, Tabaski is the celebration of sacrifice, reconciliation and forgiveness:  Eid-al-Adha – Feast of Sacrifice. This year the celebrations in Benin will be on Tuesday 15th October. Meanwhile, Happy Easter to everybody!

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