Monday, November 7, 2011

The Big Holiday--Killing the Sheep

Our neighbor is pulling a sheep from his car as the excited children await it's arrival. We went to a neighbor's roof to watch them kill their sheep and I overheard their 3-year-old sing (translated), "OK, sacrifice! OK, sacrifice!" This is part of their heritage, much like a Christmas tree is for ours. In our neighborhood, it seems more of a tradition and community requirement than a religious holiday (similar to a secularist in the states celebrating Christmas).
The killing was very humane (or so I'm told, don't have too much experience in this area!). We spent the time at our friends' house and enjoyed their company.
Patrick, remembering his old 4H skills, helped out.
Some of the neighborhood boys made some good money by setting up a charcoal fire and charring the sheep heads and feet. People usually eat these the second day (tomorrow) over couscous.
The skinned sheep.
OK, this is part of the first days meal. It's the lung, stomach, small intestine, and esophagus all cooked together in a tagine with savory sauce. Amazingly, it's good (except for the esophagus, in my opinion. It's too crunchy.), though my stomach is a little weird now and I'm thankful that I won't be seeing this for another year!
They also grill the liver wrapped in fat, the heart, and the spleen. Everyone that we know does it this way. We smelled the exact same smells all throughout the town.
I learned today how to braid the small intestine, had sheep poop fall on my shoes as the stomach was cleaned out, and almost gagged when cutting up the lung. What a day! Though not all easy, we are thankful to be living among a people that need light.