The authentic traditional atmosphere was palpable at the launch of the seventh edition of Halal Qatar Festival, one of the biggest annual festivals organised by the Cultural Village Foundation â€“ Katara.
â€œThis festival is among the biggest festivals that Katara presents to the public. Usually there are around 300,000 to 400,000 people who visit this festival every year,â€ Katara General Manager Dr. Khalid bin Ibrahim Al Sulaiti told local media after inaugurating the nine-day festival.
The festival is dedicated to the preservation of animal trade as an integral aspect of Qatari heritage.
â€œThe purpose of this festival is to keep the new generation in touch with their history and heritage and show the resilience of their forefathers. We show here the Halal (goats and sheep) from which they get food and other things they need,â€ explained Al Sulaiti.
People who thronged the opening day enjoyed visiting the enclosures where different breeds of goats and sheep were displayed as well as watching one of this yearâ€™s new features, â€˜Al Nukhbaâ€™ (elite) auction in which special breeds of sheep and goats are being sold to the highest bidders.
Al Sulaiti stressed that on the economic side, Katara had given more attention to local livestock breeders of pure halal as a way of encouraging them to increase production which are of high quality.
Another main feature of the festival is the Al Mazain â€“ a beauty competition for sheep and goats in various categories. More local livestock breeders as well as those from Kuwait and Oman are competing for the big prizes in store, said Al Sulaiti.
As part of its commitment to raising awareness among the youth on Halal, Katara has invited Independent and international schools to visit the festival every morning. Dozens of stalls offering dairy, other livestock products and traditional food items enhance the traditional ambience of the festival. There is also a tent where live demonstration of the process in making sadu and other traditional items from sheep wool are shown.
Artists and artisans are also doing live art and craft making such as painting and pottery at the festival venue adjacent to a tent where a stage has been set up for daily culture and entertainment events. Camel and horse rides and a playground are among the other features at the festival.
A number of government bodies are present at the festival such as the Ministry of Municipality and Environment through their livestock department providing veterinary education to visitors and displaying important aspects of local livestock. The festival, which runs until March 10, includes many entertainment and educational shows, traditional games and competitions in the morning and evening with valuable prizes for the winners. The festival is located at the southern area of Katara where Mahaseel Souq is also located.
Source: The Peninsula