On Idul Adha (the Islamic Day of Sacrifice), one of the two holiest days for Muslims, which this year falls on Sept. 12, Muslims will slaughter animals to commemorate Prophet Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismail as an act of submission to God.
Slaughtering an animal during Idul Adha is also spiritually meant to be an act of piety, aimed at being closer to God — hence another name: Idul Qurban, which etymologically means, besides “offering”, “being close”.
However, the way the Idul Adha is marked today, at least in Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, is different from in the past. There remain some concerns.
As the holiday draws nearer, the price of sacrificial animals (usually goats, sheep and cattle) increases significantly. Goats are priced at almost Rp 2 million (US$151) and cattle seven times as much.