Almost twenty years of Aidiladha in the east coast made me forget how its always been at home. Apart from the Aidiladha morning prayer, it's another break day, some years my parents would take off for a holiday, the rest spent like another weekend. 'Korban' are usually something you pay someone at the mosque to carry out for you or send money abroad to have it performed among the less fortunate Muslims communities. You don't see your sacrificial animal, let alone the whole ritual, all you know is that you've performed the deed.
Now, in the Pasir Mas it's a whole different thing, after breakfast of kuzi and 'roti jala', there's the 'korban' ritual where you are actually there from cow to dish. And the whole bingeing on 'tapai' while you wait for the men to cut and prepare the meat.
Later at home will be the portioning and of course my 'favorite', tripe and intestines cleaning (have you ever tried cleaning the type of tripe that has hundreds of layer? No wonder they call them 'perut kitab', it's like studying for your final!) before the distribution crew go on their route. Satay making will begin after maghrib, and it's always satay for second day of Aidiladha.
There's constantly something to do, entertaining guests and returning their visits, the many many weddings to attend and the constant feasting. Even though I've been a demi-vegetarian again for more than four years, there's always something for me to eat and enjoy, so all the meat and more meat don't bother me at all, in fact I enjoy cooking it for others.
It's the first Aidiladha since Ayah left us, and this year I have to stay back in Penang due to work commitments. We were all set to leave on Wednesday as we always do and the Friday before we found out about the trade show. So I decided to stay, as it's his duty to be there, now more so than ever.
So yes, Aidiladha is a big thing in the east coast, steeped in rituals and tradion, and I've always seen it as that it's as big as Aidilfitri there. It took me to be away from it all to see how meaningful it's been for me all these years.
Selamat Hari Raya Aidiladha everyone.