Islamic religious holidays could become state holidays in Ukraine

Author : News Agency

Source : 112 Ukraine

It is still unknown whether these days will be days off in the country
21:47, 20 May 2020

Rajesh Kumar Singh/AP

On Monday, May 18, President of Ukraine Volodymyr Zelensky announced that in the coming days he intends to sign a decree on granting Islamic religious holidays Kurban Bayram (Eid al Adha) and Uraza Bayram (Eid al Fitr) state status.

Thus, Kurban Bayram and Uraza Bayram may be the first non-Orthodox Christian state holidays in Ukraine. Whether these days will be days off is still unknown.

New public holidays

“We want to build a state in which everyone feels himself a citizen of Ukraine. I would like everyone to feel like a full-fledged citizen, not forgetting the history and traditions of their people. We want to support you not only in words but also in actions, at the legislative level," said Ukrainian President Zelensky on May 18, addressing representatives of the Crimean Tatar people.

According to the president, in the coming days he plans to sign a decree according to which Kurban Bayram and Uraza Bayram will receive the status of state religious holidays.

In addition, a new large mosque is planned to be built in Kyiv. The President emphasized that he expects to receive the project of this mosque from the Crimean Tatars and is ready to support it.

Uraza Bayram - a celebration of conversation

Uraza Bayram, or the Feast of Conversation, is one of the main days of the Islamic calendar, marking the end of the fast, which lasted during the holy month of Ramadan. The tradition of celebrating the day of conversation dates back to 624 - from the time of the Prophet Muhammad.

On the eve and on the day of the holiday compulsory alms are collected. The collected funds in the form of dry food or the cash equivalent of these products go to the benefit of the community (the poor, travelers).

Related: Muslims begin the celebration of Kurban Bayrami

On the day of the holiday, Muslims perform a festive ritual prayer (Eid-namaz), put on the best clothes, prepare traditional dishes, and after the festive prayer, they set festive tables, invite neighbors, relatives and friends to visit, make return visits with gifts, rejoice and have fun. Children take part in various games, visit neighbors who give them sweets.

On this day, it is also customary to give donations to the poor, gifts and ask each other for forgiveness.

The holiday is considered the first day of the month of Shavval, but according to tradition, schools, institutions and shops in Muslim countries usually do not work for another two or three days.

Feast of Sacrifice - Kurban Bayram

Kurban Bayram is one of the largest Muslim holidays, marking the end of the Hajj, the pilgrimage to Mecca. It is celebrated 70 days after the holiday of Uraza Bayram.

On this day, Muslims sacrifice animals (kurban) in memory of how, according to biblical tradition, the prophet Abraham (Ibrahim) wanted to sacrifice his son Isaac (Ismail) to God. But God sent the archangel Gabriel (Jabrail) with a lamb and saved Abraham's son.

During the Eid al-Adha festival, Muslims wear festive clothing. The ritual of the festival also includes a special prayer, during which every Muslim is obliged to slaughter a sheep, cow or camel. In this case, the victim should be at least six months old, healthy and not have any shortcomings.

Usually the skins of sacrificial animals are given to the mosque. The meat is cooked and eaten at a common meal, which can be attended by any Muslim. Much attention is paid to the festive decoration of the table, as well as the preparation of numerous sweets. Close friends and relatives try to make gifts on holiday days. They usually come to visit relatives and close friends, since a visit in the sacrifice day is considered blessed and desirable.

Recently, the celebrations of Kurban Bayram in some non-Muslim countries have caused a negative attitude among human rights organizations, politicians, cultural figures and ordinary people who fear that the contemplation of death may adversely affect the psyche of children who see this.

For example, in 2003, British government advisers demanded an immediate ban on Muslim and Jewish methods of slaughtering livestock. Both methods are the same: they cut the throat of the animal and wait until the blood flows out of it and it dies. Then it was noted that the methods of meat production according to Muslim laws and kosher norms are more cruel, since they cause severe suffering to sheep, goats and cattle. And in Moscow in 2006 a ban on public sacrifices was introduced (each mosque was allowed to slaughter one animal).

Public holidays in Ukraine

Public holidays in Ukraine are traditionally non-working days. According to Art. 73 of the Labor Code, Ukraine has the following holidays and days-off:

  January 1 - New Year;
    January 7 and December 25 - Christmas;
    March 8 - International Women's Day;
    May 1 - Labor Day;
    May 9 - Victory Day over Nazism in World War II (Victory Day);
    June 28 - Constitution Day of Ukraine;
    August 24 - Independence Day of Ukraine;
    October 14 - Day of Defender of Ukraine;
    one day (Sunday) - Easter;
    one day (Sunday) - Trinity.

But whether Kurban Bayram and Uraza Bayram will be days-off is not yet clear.

Related: Would Ukraine introduce dual citizenship?

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