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Tabaski feast in West Africa

Aïd-El-Kébir, the Muslim sacrifice feast also known as “Tabaski,” was celebrated on 1 September across West Africa, 69 days after the end of Ramadan. It is one of the most important religious days on the Muslim calendar and represents a busy and expensive time for families. Every year, the  holiday becomes an economic challenge for the many poor people living in the region. In Bamako, for example, it might cost between 50 000 to 120 000 CFA francs to buy a sacrificial sheep. Government-sponsored promotional campaigns aimed at making the purchase more accessible for everyone have helped reduce the price. The Senegalese government reduced customs duties for sheep imported from Mali and Mauritania to satisfy the strong demand for sheep in the country -- estimated at 750 000 heads. In Burkina Faso, the celebration was overshadowed by the recent terrorist attack on 13 August that killed 19 people, the economic crisis and the death of Salif Diallo. Muslims make up some 60% of the Burkinabe population, but this year's Tabaski was an opportunity for the whole nation to gather and pray for peace and a better future. Traditional leader Mogho Naaba Baongho and Cardinal Philippe Ouédraogo joined in the celebration.

 

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