Uzbekistan celebrates Festival of Sacrifice
Uzbekistan, Tashkent, Nov. 6 / Trend D. Azizov /
Uzbek Muslims began celebrating the most important holiday of Islam - Eid al Adha (Festival of Sacrifice) on Sunday.
Early in the morning the Muslims came to the mosque for morning prayers. After preaching Muslims usually go to the cemetery to pray for the dead and to worship the saints. Afterwards, believers begin the sacrificial rite.
The Festival of Sacrifice is a part of the Muslim ritual of pilgrimage to Mecca (Hajj). Every year about two million Muslims from all over the world come to Saudi Arabia and perform Hajj in Mecca.
According to the Uzbek Committee on Religious Affairs, more than 5,000 Uzbek pilgrims have performed hajj this year.
The Uzbek special council, formed in accordance with the presidential decree in 2006, organizes and conducts annual Hajj and Umrah.
It aims at coordinating the efforts of ministries, departments and public organizations to prepare and to conduct the pilgrimage.
Special air flights are organized for pilgrims. Medical services are rendered. Visa documents are prepared.
Umrah pilgrimage has been divided into two phases: spring and autumn since 2009.
According to the Uzbek Committee on Religious Affairs, at present, over 2,000 religious organizations of 16 confessions have been registered in the republic. Over 90 percent of the total number are Muslim organizations, 88 percent of the population consider themselves followers of Islam.