Monday, December 8, 2008
Today marks the beginning of the Muslim Festival of Eid that coincides with the annual pilgrimage to Mecca know as the Haj (where the derogatory moniker "Haji" comes from). There is much hugging and kissing among the locals today, akin to the westerners' concept of Christmas. Speaking with one of "our guys" he told me how he woke his family up at 2:30 a.m. so that they could slaughter a sheep (bad day for the sheep population) and distribute the meat to their neighbors. I had to wrap my head around that one, but I guess a fat, bearded guy stuffing toys into hanging stockings is no less strange. Happy feast!