Monday, December 24, 2007


Sallah Celebration

There are quite a few experiences that humans of all races and cultures share. Among them is celebration or merry making on particular days for particular events. These celebrations must have originated from the early days of humanity and they serve as a kind of reunion events for family members. Judging by their history it is safe to say that such celebrations predate all religions. But today most of our celebrations are based on religion. And here is a roll of those we have in my part of the world:

Babbar Sallah or Eid el Kabir
Karamar Sallah or Eid el Fitr
Cika ciki or Thanks Giving
Taku Tuha or Maulud

The first two are by far the most important and as such are packed with more activities. It is akin to a carnival complete with processions and brightly clothed horsemen parade. At home the occasion is marked after careful planing. Long before the d-day families budget the gifts to distribute, who to invite, the clothes to wear and the food to prepare. Relations coming down for the event are also ascertained.
Gift giving has become a norm but with apparels dominating the budget. Relations and family members form the bulk of the beneficiaries. Giving gifts to friends is mostly restricted to occasions like weddings or naming ceremonies. Children have clothes sewn for them as a rule and except for the fancy kid glasses or kid wrist watch, toys are out of the question. Wives too would have clothes given out to them long before the event and husbands will sew for themselves.
In the area of food every house cooks variety of dishes to fit the occasion. Most of the night would beused to do the cooking but normally with the help of those relations who have arrived forthe occasion. Rice dish features prominently in various forms ranging from plain white with stew to jollof and tuwo balls. Meat range from beef to chicken in roasted and cooked in stew varieties. Cakes, donuts, spring rolls, meat pies and other snacks would also be prepared. All these will be laid out along with the fruits in season.
No one eats in the morning until after people return from the praying ground. The food is then laid on the carpet for the family to sit down and eat. And then the banter starts with relations and friends.
Immediately after the meal those wishing to watch the parade and the horses will leave the house for strategic locations that give good a view. This is called durba and it is the main attraction for Sallah.

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