Shopping for a sheep

Sheep Souk (market) by Tom Fakler

Eid al-Adha “Festival of Sacrifice” is a holiday that you could is equal to the American Thanks Giving and Christmas rolled into one. Eid al-Adha is celebrated by Muslims worldwide on 28 November this year to commemorate the willingness of Ibrahim to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God.

In Morocco, each Muslim household should slaughter a sheep for Eid al-Adha. For residents of Fez, Morocco’s third largest city, they head to one of the many sheep souks (markets) to purchase their sheep.

About four days before Eid al-Adha, several sheep souks (markets) open up around Fez. The markets are usually held in open fields. Tents selling food, charcoal, charcoal grills and knives spring up. The souks are always lively with men showing off their sheep, other men and a few women shopping for a sheep to sacrifice. Bargaining for most things in Morocco is common but when it comes to sheep, the bargaining is hot and heavy. This year an average sheep cost about three weeks salary for the average Moroccan. So it is not a minor purchase.