- Title: FRANCE: Eid al-Adha is celebrated in the French coastal city of Marseille
- Date: 29th November 2009
- Summary: CHILDREN WOMAN SHOWING HER HENNA-DECORATED HAND CLOSE OF WOMAN'S DECORATED HAND
- Embargoed: 14th December 2009 12:00
- Location: France
- Country: France
- Topics: Religion
- Reuters ID: LVAAJJDMK1BQHMQ9ZAVYAQM4UG6C
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha in the southern French coastal city of Marseille. Muslims make up quarter of the city's population and the country is home to Europe's largest Muslim community.
One of the largest buildings in the French coastal city of Marseille opened its doors to the thousands of Muslims living in the city as they celebrated Eid el-Adha with prayers and the traditional ritual of slaughtering sheep.
A quarter of France's muslim population are said to be living in Marseille.
On Friday (November 27) people gathered at Marseille's exhibition centre for prayers led by Imam Hamadou Diadie.
Imam Diadie likened Marseille to a little Africa.
"Marseille is like a little Africa if you like, because there are many Muslims and people are from different origins, be it from Northern Africa or sub-Saharan Africa. There are around 200,000 Muslims in Marseille, the large majority of which originate from Africa," he said.
The mass gathering is organised every year by different Muslim associations.
For Student Fahime Ben-Lesseud this was an important event.
"This reminds us of our origins, that we are Muslims, and that in a way, we are all brothers and sisters of course," she said.
Many muslims queued outside a large marquees in the city, to buy sheep for slaughter, a tradition during Eid el-Adha.
After buying the sheep, they queued to have them slaughtered by butchers present at the market as it is forbidden to kill an animal in a private home in France and it has to be done in an abattoir.
In this temporary abattoir, nearly 5000 sheep were slaughtered for Eid el-Adha
"This has to do with Abraham's sacrifice, so we take a sheep and we sacrifice it and there you go, we can then have a nice and big party amongst Muslims, simple as that," said French Muslim Mohammed Sirad as he was queuing.
France's muslim population is estimated to be 5 million, Europe's largest Islamic minority.
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