Tabaski, or Eid al-Adha is the most important holy day on the Islamic Calendar. And even though only a minority of Cameroonians are Muslims, Tabaski and other major Islamic holy days are public holidays in Cameroon.
Tabaski celebrates the Koran’s account that Ibrahim “almost sacrificed” his son Ishmael to Allah, at Allah’s request. It is said that Allah either changed Ishmael with a sheep or commanded Ibrahim to stop and replace Ishmael with a healthy sheep after finding him willing to obey Allah no matter the cost.
For Tabaski, Muslims in Cameroon rise early and attend public mosque and prayer sessions. They then return home and sacrifice a cow, sheep, goat, or other livestock, which becomes the basis for a feast and celebration with family and friends.
It is customary to give a third of the slaughtered animal’s meat to the poor, a third to relatives and friends, and to keep a third for one’s own family.