A 52-year-old man was trampled to death, and another three people were seriously injured when a cow, who was to be slaughtered for the Muslim holiday of Eid Al Adha, got spooked by the man trying to slaughter it. Animal slaughter is common for Muslim holidays and often families try to slaughter the powerful animals themselves rather than pay a butcher to save money.
The accident occurred in the Southern Gaza Strip town of Rafah where almost 80% of the population lives in poverty and relies on food aid. Which means the chance to get fresh meat is a welcome change, making the bloody holiday very popular among Muslims in the area. Due to the expense of livestock some families save all year for the event, and others pool their money together with other families in order to afford it.
During the holiday children often gather in crowds to watch the slaughtering, afterwards some of them dip their hands in the blood that runs down the city streets. Families participating in the holiday usually give a third of the fresh meat to the poor as a Muslim tradition. The offering brings a sense of community to the participants and celebrates the sacrifice of the Prophet Ibrahim, known to Christians and Jews as Abraham. [NY Daily News]