Why ‘rivers of blood’ flowed through Bangladesh’s capital

Photo posted on Twitter by Edward Rees (@ReesEdward)
Photo posted on Twitter by Edward Rees (@ReesEdward)


When bright red water started flowing down the streets of Bangladesh’s capital earlier this week, many people took to social media to share their photos. The strange sight is a mix of the blood of animals sacrificed for the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha and the heavy rain that fell over the city that day.

Muslims across the world celebrated Eid al-Adha, the most important Muslim holiday, on September 12. It is traditional for a family to sacrifice an animal – usually a sheep – to the prophet Abraham as part of the celebrations.

On the day of Eid al-Adha, heavy rain started falling on Dhaka. The result? Flooded streets, which turned into red rivers due to the blood from the sacrifices carried out the night before, according to residents.

About 15 million people live in the capital of Bangladesh, a country that is 90% Muslim.

This video was published on YouTube by Jaodat Rahman.

Authorities blamed

Many Dhaka residents complained that the local authorities failed to clean the streets, which is necessary after animal sacrifices. They also denounced failures in the drainage system.

According to local authorities, city officials designated about 1,000 sites across Dhaka where people could kill animals ahead of Eid al-Adha instead of just carrying out the sacrifice wherever. However, residents say that information about these sites was not effectively communicated. Others also complained that these designated sites were too far from their homes.