Tabaski, Celebrating Around a Ram

Jul. 24 | 2021

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In July many people in West Africa celebrated Tabaski, an Islamic holiday. The special occasion honors the ability of Abraham to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. In the story, God was pleased by Abraham’s willingness and instead sent a ram instead of his son. 


Our Mali Director, Bara Kassambara, celebrated with his family where they were able to slaughter a ram, shared it with poor families in his neighborhood and then sat down for a meal. This is a typical celebration as the ram is the center of the celebration as well as prayer at the local mosque. Typically the ram is eaten by the family, shared with friends, and also shared with the poor. During this time sheep prices at the market can dramatically increase. 


a man is holding meat to cook for a tabaski meal


The price of sheep in the market dramatically increased because of Tabaski. Most of the time the burden of paying for a ram in preparation for the holiday can be challenging to families. On the other hand, this can be a good opportunity to raise livestock for this purpose in the market. We have worked with small ruminant entrepreneurs in the past to prepare their livestock for the holiday which could increase their profitability not only from the timing but also for the guidance in feeding techniques, breeding and other care. 


The size and the breed of the sheep can have a major impact on the price of the animal. One of the most sought after, the Bali-Bali, can be on the highest end of the price spectrum. During this time the market becomes busy, frequented by farmers and buyers alike hoping to find the price they’re looking for. 


a group of people selling rams for the tabaski feast


Read more about the Bali-Bali sheep here


Read more about the unique traits that can affect the price of livestock in a Malian market here