After a Guide to Ramadan, it seems fair to give Eid the same attention. Muslims around the globe are getting ready for this occasion, to be celebrated on Monday or Tuesday – depending on the sighting of the Moon.
I’m sure everyone has heard of Eid as it becomes more and more well known in the modern world but how many of you know what it actually is and why Muslims celebrate that day?
The obvious: after a month of striving in the path of our religion, Allah [God] has given us this day to celebrate our success and to just chill after 30 days of fasting.
A few important things mark this day as an Islamic occasion. Firstly, every Muslim is required to give a small amount of food/money to charity to ensure that the poor amongst us can celebrate this day as well.
Secondly, all men go to the mosque early in the morning for a special Eid prayer which consists of a sermon and a short congregational prayer. Women can join in as well but it is not compulsory for them to do so (personally, that means I can have a lay-in!).
The amount of Muslims that turn up for this prayer is amazing – young and old, rich and poor, strong and weak; it doesn’t matter who or what you are, you stand shoulder-to-shoulder with so many other Muslims to celebrate this day.
And then the actual celebrations begin: dressing up in new, shiny clothes, calling up distant relatives to wish them a happy Eid, giving gifts and money, parties and get-togethers – and just being happy.
For me and my family, the preparations for this special day begin long before it actually arrives. Eid shopping can be fun and hectic and annoying at the same time. Gifts for loved ones! What will I wear? Matching shoes and jewellery… all these questions and statements are thrown around especially by the women of the family!
The actual feeling of celebration starts on the night before though. My mum makes this milky, vermicelli dish that tastes like heaven after it’s been cooked and cooked until all creamy and delicious and then cooled over-night in the fridge.
The first thing we do when we get up in the morning is take our bowls and stand there like Oliver Twist asking our Mum to give us some of her delicious dish.
We then have fights over who will take a shower first before we can take out our heavily-embroidered Eid clothes and totter around in heels whilst my brothers makes a disgusted face and is forced to take pictures of me while I pout and pose until I have a satisfactory picture of myself.
Cramming into our car we all make our way to our Grand-ma’s house to meet aunties and uncles, cousins and nieces and nephews and grandparents. We eat and laugh and gossip and wreck havoc. And at the end of it all, we come home with lots of money and gifts and a day to remember!