Eid habta: A legacy that continues to flourish
Eid habta is a legacy which has continued over generations in the sultanate. These traditional markets come up at open spaces or under palm and mango trees, Ghaf, or near castles and forts.
These markets are quite popular among citizens, residents and tourists. They come up ten days before Eid and continue until the day before Eid across the country. This year the habta is expected to last from the 24th day to the 29th day of the holy month.
The markets will come up in the wilayats of Wadi Bani Khalid and Ibra in North Sharqiyah, the wilayat of Bausher in Muscat, and Fanja in the wilayat of Bidbid in Dakhliyah. Four such markets will come up at Al Khalidiyah village, Umq, Al Masalaha Market and Al Hawairiyyah in the wilayat of Wadi Bani Khalid and continue until the 27th day of Ramadan.
The markets will come up at Al Thabti village, followed by one at Al Yahmadi on the 25th day of Ramadan and A’Safalah on the 26th day in Ibra. On the 25th day of Ramadan, the habta will come up in the wilayat of Al Hamra and Nafaa in the wilayat of Bidbid.
On the 26th day of Ramadan, the habta will come up in the wilayats of Rustaq, Samail (Suroor), Sur, Wadi al Ma’awel, Bidiyah, Khabourah and Al Muntarib in the wilayat of Bidiyah. On the 27th day, the habta will come up in the wilayats of Jalaan Bani Bu Ali, Suwaiq, Bahla, Barka, Jalaan Bani Bu Hassan, Nakhal, Seeb, and Al Wasel village in the wilayat of Al Qabel.
On the 28th day, the markets will come up in the wilayats of Al Kamil W’al Wafi and Al Qabel. These markets remain open from sunrise till 11am and sometimes till 1pm. The Eid habta is a heritage that has been preserved by successive generations.
People usually flock to these markets in search of best deals on sheep, cows and camels. Even children love visiting these markets with their parents while on the lookout for toys and clothes. People buy various kinds of foodstuff items and ingredients from these markets specially used in dishes like shuwa.
These markets are also an opportunity for breeders to sell livestock at competitive prices. Locally-made ghee (clarified butter), skewers made of date-palm pinnation and roast bag made from date-palm fronds and wood, knives and tools used for slaughtering Eid meat, and banana leaves that are used to wrap shuwa meat are some of the items shopped for.
These markets are also popular for the sale of traditional light weapons such as guns, swords and daggers, sticks, traditional belts, mussars and kummahs.