About 40 days after Ramadan there is a public holiday in turkey called Kurban Bayramı.
Animal lovers should stop reading about now as this is the day of the sacrifice.
Depending on the family and their wealth this could mean sacrificing a sheep or a cow.
Apparently in former years, Istanbul transformed in a bloodbath, but recent legislation made it very hard to see this special event.
Before anyone starts to make assumptions, I am not a blood lover – but I do eat meat, and know where it comes from. So for me it is not shocking to watch a killing. And especially not one like the one I saw – where every little part of the animal is used and nothing goes to waste.
After having some house problems, I was staying with some friends during this week. They lived in a more traditional neighborhood, which meant it was our best shot at seeing it.
I only had one friend willing to come with me. Everyone else was completely out for that.
Waking up early to try to find something, we were treated with neighbors celebrating it.
The really nice and special thing about this holiday is that it is all about sharing. The family that sacrifices the animal only gets to keep one-third of it. The other two are for the poor and of course for friends and neighbors.
We were treated with a little bit of fascination and a lot of kindness.
As always in Turkey we were offered tea and then some cooked meat, and then some raw meat for us to take home.
The whole family has to pitch in to help.
Because this is done in a not so clean place, (in this case an old garage!) they have to be really fast and so they need all the help they can find.
It was really good to see the whole dynamic – somehow it kind of felt like christmas – the kids were all playing around while the grown ups made everything happen around them. It was all about sharing and everyone was happy.
For me it was a privilege to be able to see it. Again, please don’t see the pictures if you are a very sensitive person