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Celebrating Eid - Part 1

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Eid is celebrated by Muslims the world over as a day of rejoicing after fasting during the preceding lunar month of Ramadhan. In all Muslim majority countries, Eid day, and a day or two before and after Eid are declared as closed holidays. Wheras celebration of Eid should logically be the privilege of only those Muslims who resorted to fasting, it is celebrated by all Muslims alike. Shopping for Eid starts a week to ten days in advance. By and large everyone buys new clothes, particularly, the ladies and children.

The evening before Eid is called Chand Raat (the night of sighting the moon of Eid). This evening is specially important for the girls and women who take pains to decorate their hands, arms and even feet with mehndi (henna). There are some women in each locality/family who are very good at applying mehndi and become most sought after. In cities, there are professionals who charge hefty sums for this. On this evening there are displays of fireworks which are a source of amusement and fun for the children. The evening is also spent by housewives to cook/prepare various dishes for the families. So, there is a lot of hustle and bustle on Chand Raat.

On the morning of Eid, the most important event is Eid Prayers. Large gatherings of prayers are held in all the big mosques and in open grounds. Soon after the prayers, friends, near and dear ones present in the congregations greet each other by embracing, traditionally three times. After Eid prayers, children await their elders to give them Eidee (monetary contribution) to them. Now the feasting starts. There are families who await their relatives and family friends for the feast at home, there are others who choose to leave their house to attend such feasts. The favourite dishes are sawwian (vermicelli's), chaat (a snack of potatoes and chanas with onion and spices), kheer (made from milk and rice), kababs (made from minced meat) etc. Families exchange some of these dishes with their neighbours. Besides visiting each other, families move out for picnics to zoo, museum, playlands etc. There are some who spend their time before the screen watching TV, movies or on the Internet. There are others, a few, who spend the holidays sleeping to make up for the sleep lost due to over work earning their livelihood. Some affluent families are very particular to share their happiness with the poor by alleviating their sufferings to the extent they can. Some families also make it a point to visit the graveyards to remember their near and dear ones by praying for them who are no longer living. There are some unfortunate ones who happen to have lost some of their near and dear ones in the recent past. It's really hard for them to enjoy the festivities of Eid.

Persons living away from their near and dear ones in other cities or other countries plan to spend Eid back home. There are some who can afford that in terms of money and time. But there are others who either can't afford monetarily or their nature of occupation does not permit them to be with their families. The reliance in such cases is on the present day blessed means of communication.

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posted @ 4:49 PM,


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