Tabaski 2023: Final Preparations, the Search for The Sheep

jihane rmili
jihane rmili
3 Min Read

A week of festivities begins in Muslim countries, with “Eid-el-Kebir”. In West Africa, the festival is better known as ‘tabaski’, depending on the country, it is celebrated on different days of the week… Tabaski is a time of piety, but also a time for getting together over a plate of mutton. And, as is the case every year, the purchase of the best animal is a major concern for many families.

On this rainy day, customers are few and far between at the Adjamé market, one of the sheep sales outlets in the Ivorian economic capital, Abidjan. Nevertheless, one buyer was relieved to have found his sacrifice, and happy about the prospect of a gathering with his family and friends.

Roukiatou Keïta describes it with relish. This 49-year-old mother of one lives in Conakry. While she is looking forward to the coming feast as a time of prayer and reunion, she is also looking forward to the opportunity to change the ordinary on her plate. In Guinea, beef is the most prized meat, and tabaski is a chance to wake up your taste buds.

In Niger, one of them told that “the price of sheep has gone up and the government still hasn’t paid their salaries. It’s not going well at all! Because the festival falls at the end of the month, and if the salaries are late, not everyone will be able to afford to celebrate properly”.

In Senegal, Tabaski is a bit special this year because of the political context. The authorities are reassuring that there will be a good supply of sheep on the market, but there are fewer sales outlets than usual in the capital, Dakar. Because of the violent demonstrations at the beginning of the month, some breeders and sellers did not make the trip.

Beyond the Senegalese context, the approach of the festival is seeing prices rise in many countries in the region, as usual.

The member of the consumers’ scientific forum stated that prices had risen less than usual in Mauritania but he warned that many families would likely go into debt to cover the cost of the festival this year.

Jihan Rmili

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