| Shoppers look for a goat of their choice at Bakri Bazaar in Patna on Thursday. Picture by Ashok Sinha |
The soaring price of sacrificial goats has hit the mood of revellers this Id-ul Zuha.
The festival would be celebrated this Saturday. It commemorates the willingness of prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son Ishmael as an act of obedience to Allah.
Revellers sacrifice goats during this festival, imitating Abraham who had eventually offered a ram. But this year, devotees are returning empty-handed from the markets.
“I could not afford to buy a goat at Bakri Bazaar (near Jagdeo Path in west Patna) as the prices were too high,” said Dakbungalow Road resident Aftab Alam. “I had a budget of around Rs 6,000 but no goat was available.”
He added: “It is important to sacrifice goats during Id-ul Zuha as it is an important ritual of our religion. We cannot buy just any goat — it has to be more than a year old and should not have any physical defect.”
Some devotees are shelling out extra for the goats of their choice. “I bought a goat for Rs 9,000 today (Thursday),” said Harun Nagar resident Mohammed Haidar. “Last year, I had to pay only Rs 5,000.”
High prices, however, have not dampened the mood of the revellers, many of whom are thronging the animal fair at Bakri Bazaar. Mohammed Ziaullah Khan, who manages the 10-day event, said more than 10,000 goats have been sold over the past nine days.
“But we expect the sales to soar tomorrow (Friday) when the market would be open all day and all night,” Khan said.
He added: “Goat sellers from all over Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Jharkhand, Jammu and Kashmir and Gujarat have come to sell their animals here.”
Asked what the speciality of the fair this year was, Khan said: “Devotees can buy Dumba sheep (Fat-tailed sheep) from Kashmir.” But they would have to shell out Rs 1.10 lakh to take home one of these exotic animals.