The Moslem people of Niamey, capital of Niger, congregated on Wednesday for Eid-el-Kabir, a festival of sacrifice to Allah also known as Tabaski.
Crowd arriving for the ceremony; President Diori Hamani of Niger and other Government officials; sheep being sacrificed; dead rams; President leaving; rams being roasted.
EDITORS: SEE ALSO 2730/67 "NIGERIA: MOSLEM FESTIVAL OF EID-EL-KABIR" SERVICED ON WEDNESDAY (22 MARCH 1967)
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: The Moslem people of Niamey, capital of Niger, congregated on Wednesday for Eid-el-Kabir, a festival of sacrifice to Allah also known as Tabaski. The festival, which was attended by Government officials and civic leaders including the Grand Imam of Niamey, marks the beginning of the New Year with the ritual sacrifice of sheep.
Eid-el-Kabir is celebrated all over the Moslem world, and commemorates the prophet Abraham's willingness commanded to sacrifice his own son. Though Abraham was subsequently commanded to sacrifice a ram instead of his son, Eid-el-Kabir still celebrates the spirit of the sacrifice by similar sacrifice of hundreds of rams during the festival.
Some 20,000 people attended Wednesday's ceremony in Niamey which was led by the Grand Imam, the spiritual leader of the Moslems of Niger. At the moment of sacrifice, the congregation turned towards Mecca, the centre of the Moslem religion, in accordance with the rites of the Koran.