Ras al-cam and Achoura are two feasts which inaugurate the new year of Hegira. They are celebrated at a ten-day interval and commemorate historic and mythic events, from Noah’s ark coming on board till Hussein’s murder passing by the Prophet Muhammad’s Exodus towards Medinah. In Tunisia, food rites represent the central aspect of these feasts, namely, the dried-meat (taken on the sheep of Aïd Al-adha) consumption for Ras Al-cam and of the farm-cock sacrifice for Achoura. This paper tries to examine the origins of the beliefs close to these two feasts. In the first part, it describes, and analyzes preparation, cooking, and consumption phases of the dried-meat. In the second, it studies the causes behind the exceptional status of the farm chicken and analyzes its cooking and consumption rituals at Achoura’s day.
Achoura, Ras al-ām, Islam, sacrifice, dried-meat, farm cock, Tunisia.