The Muslim world is celebrating the first day of Eid and the majority of families in our village are settling down with their roast or braised lamb or goat with their nearest and dearest. We are relaxing with a G&T and wondering what to cook for dinner. My daughter is not with us as she works in the tourist industry so today is just an ordinary working day for her. We do however have my Mum staying so we can at least say that we have had a "family day". I went to the market on Sunday with the intention of filling up the fridge to last us through the holiday period but after my first couple of purchases, I was so incensed at the prices that I ended up buying only half of my list. Tomatoes were 1.5 TL a kilo last week but 4 TL this week. My usual bunch of flowers had gone up 100%. When I questioned my lack of change from a 10TL note , the trader smilingly told me that it was a religious festival so of course the prices rise. I know religion has been blamed for most things but I haven't heard it used as a reason to fleece the general public.
While on the subject of fleeces, we passed a trailer load of sacrificial fleeces on our evening walk. Animals can no longer be ritually slaughtered in gardens and public places which is good news as I hated the sight and smell of streets running with blood. Now each village or town has designated slaughter areas with a butcher on hand to dispatch the animal quickly and hygienically. Quite a queue had built up around ours and an enterprising neighbour had set up tables and chairs and was serving tea. One tradition hasn't changed though; the fleeces in this area are still all donated to benefit the Turkish Aeronautical Association (Türk Hava Korumu) founded by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk not just because the chief of staff of the Turkish Airforce is a local boy made good, but this is where fleeces have always been sent.