Prayer meetings and distribution of sweetmeats marked Bakrid celebrations for Muslims across the city on Wednesday.
Ameen Khatri, a silk merchant and resident of Malleswaram, said his family believes in celebrating Bakrid by donating to the less privileged. “This, we believe, will help us on judgement day,” he said.
An integral part of all festivals is the food that is shared with family and friends. Likewise, Bakrid celebrations revolved around sumptuous mutton biryani, lip-smacking seviyan kheer and finger licking kebabs.
Nabila Shah, a resident of Hebbal, said after the sacrifice, the meat is divided into three portions. While one portion is given to the poor, one is distributed among friends. The other portion is shared with family members.
According to Khalid P.C., a shop owner and resident of Chikkamaranahalli, the day begins with prayers. The first meal usually comprises dry fruits and seviyan kheer. “The celebrations are on a grander scale at my hometown in Kerala. After sacrificing the goat, we distribute it among the poor and disadvantaged. The remaining meat is shared with family and friends,” he said.
He said people visit elders to seek blessing. “But here, we could not visit relatives as they live far away. We exchanged greetings over the phone,” he added. The generally busy road opposite Russell Market in Shivajinagar turned into a cricket pitch and several streets became playgrounds as Bangalore’s notorious traffic took a holiday. The city’s thoroughfares wore a deserted look on Wednesday with several offices closed. Earlier in the day, Chief Minister Siddaramaiah attended the prayer meeting at Bilal Idgah on Bannerghatta Road. He said the government will act strongly against divisive forces who try to divide society on the basis of caste and religion. He also said the interests of all citizens, including those belonging to minorities, will be protected.
“People of the State must live together in peace and harmony. It is the responsibility of the government to create a conducive environment for this,” he added and urged citizens to respect each other’s religions and castes.