After four weeks of fasting, prayers, and many sacred experiences, it is finally time to celebrate the much-awaited Eid Al Fitr. The pious day marks the last day of Ramadan and the first day of the Islamic month of Shawal and is celebrated on the sighting of the new crescent.
According to popular belief, when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) migrated from Mecca to Medina, he noticed that the people were celebrating in ways to amuse and entertain themselves on two separate occasions throughout the year. He then informed the people that the Almighty had two separate days assigned for such celebrations and festivities, which are Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha.
Believers across the world celebrate Eid Al Fitr after following a month of abstinence. After fasting from dawn until dusk and staying away from worldly pleasures, Eid is time to celebrate in piety and brotherhood. Different countries have different ways of celebrating Eid and here are some of them:
The festival of breaking the fast or Eid Al Fitr is widely celebrated across the GCC nations. Extended families and relatives gather together for the Eid prayers followed by a hearty meal that everyone prefers to have together. Muslims are also seen flocking to the mosques to offer their prayers and shopping malls are usually bustling with people buying new clothes and great food.
Giving gifts known as Eidi, especially to children, is also an important part of the celebration here. Visiting grandparents in the morning is an important part of the cultural celebrations and all the children and grandchildren who meet have dates, fruits, and breakfast together before parting ways.
South East Asia
In countries like Indonesia, Malaysia, and Singapore, Eid Al Fitr is called Hari Raya Puasa or Lebaran. If you’ve been to the South East Asian nations you would know the important role that street markets play in their economy. Therefore it comes as no surprise that Muslims swarm into these night and day markets that sell Eid related goods, food, and clothes.
The households are lit with oil lamps, and children and youngsters light firecrackers outside their homes to celebrate the festival with sound, light, and colours. Sweets and some traditional dishes like beef and lemang are prepared and enjoyed at home, while some prefer dining out with friends and families.
In India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka, Eid is a very colourful affair. Women of the house usually get busy the previous day with preparing of all kinds of food such as sewaiyyah or laccha and sweets such as vermicelli noodles, followed by a trip to the malls and parlour where they apply henna on their hands. They visit friends and relatives and greet one another and exchange gifts. It is also customary to go to the mosque and offer prayers.
In some parts it is also mandatory to give charity in cash or kind to the poor. People are also seen gathering in large open grounds to feast together or just meet and exchange warm greetings after the Eid prayers. —[email protected]