Habta markets, first joy for Eid al Fitr

MUSCAT: In many of the Sultanate’s wilayats, open markets (locally known as Habta) are organised to display the various commodities people need during Eid, including the sale of livestock in the Habta markets. Habta markets are traditional, heritage events that are awaited by the citizens in the Sultanate. They are traditional markets that are held on the occasion of the Eid on open spaces of land or under the shade of palm trees, mangoes and Ghaf or near the castles and forts.
Habta markets witness a high turnout of citizens, residents and tourists. The Habta markets in all governorates and wilayats begin 10 days before the Eid and continue until the day before the Eid.
The Habta markets in the various governorates of the Sultanate begin from 24-29 of the holy month of Ramadhan, initiated in the wilayats of Wadi Bani Khalid and Ibra in the Governorate of North Al Sharqiyah, the Wilayat of Bausher in the Governorate of Muscat and in Fanja in the Wilayat of Bidbid in the Governorate of Al Dakhiliyah.
Four consecutive Habta markets are held in the Wilayat of Wadi Bani Khalid.
They start in the village of Khalidiya, followed by Habta markets in Omq, Souq Al Masaliha and Al Hawariya and continue until 27 of Ramadhan.
Al Thabti village in the Wilayat of Ibra starts with the first of the three Habta markets held in the wilayat, followed by Al Yahmadi on 25 Ramadhan and Al Safala on 26 Ramadhan.
The Habta markets of Wilayat of Al Hamra and Nafaa in the Wilayat of Bidbid are also held on the 25 of Ramadhan.
On 26 of Ramadhan, the Habta Markets are held in the wilayats of Al Rustaq, Samayil (Suroor), Sur, Wadi al Maawail, Bidiya, Al Khabourah, and al Mintarab in the Wilayat of Bidiya.
On 27 of Ramadhan, the Habta markets are held in the wilayats of Jaalan Bani Bu Ali, Al Suwaiq,
Bahla, Barka, Jaalan Bani Bu Hassan, Nakhl, Al Seeb, and the village of Al Wasel in the Wilayat of
Al Qabil.
On 28 of Ramadhan, the Habta markets are held in the wilayats of Al Kamil W’al Wafi and Al Qabil.
There is a fixed timing for most of the Sultanate’s Habta markets, from sunrise to 11 am and sometimes to 1 pm.
Many people flock to the nearby wilayats to look for better meat, or to enjoy the atmosphere associated with Habta markets such as calling to sell sheep, cows and camels at auction.
The Habta markets is the time joy for Omanis during Eid al Fitr, especially children who are keen to attend, wearing the most beautiful clothes they have.
The Habta markets meet the needs of mother and child together, and provide many goods and commodities of toys and ready clothes in addition to the foodstuff to prepare many traditional Omani dishes and ‘barbecue’ items.
These Habta markets are also an opportunity for breeders to sell their livestock at good prices, where many citizens are keen to buy small livestock known as (Mawalid) to be used in the traditional Omani meal known as (Al Ursiya), a meal usually eaten before going to the Eid prayer, consisting of rice and meat in addition to
local ghee.
The Habta markets witness a strong footfall since the early hours of the morning and people from various villages in the wilayat
and neighbouring wilayats come to visit it. — ONA