In Islamic tradition, the Festival of the Sacrifice called Eid al-Adha commemorates the willingness of the prophet Abraham to sacrifice a son in submission to God, after which God intervened by providing a ram to be sacrificed instead. Today, it is incumbent upon affluent Muslims to perform qurbani — to sacrifice a livestock animal for the festival.
Though it is preferable that the owner of the animal slaughter it himself, in the five boroughs of New York and elsewhere, often this is impractical. Hence, many halal meat markets accept qurbani orders from their customers, slaughtering a animal, usually a goat or sheep, on their behalf. One traditional guideline recommends that one-third of the sacrificed animal be retained for personal consumption, one-third given to family and friends, and one-third offered as charity to the poor.
Signs in Jackson Heights and Flushing, Queens, and elsewhere throughout the city
The three-day, two-night celebration of Eid al-Adha begins in the evening of Thursday, October 25, 2012 (by the solar, Gregorian calendar), 10 Dhu al-Hijjah (by the lunar, Islamic calendar)