Eid

Eid ul Fitr (The Feast at the End of Fasting) is my favorite holiday. You get new clothes. You got eidi – cash, from all the adults and you strut about from house to house, awash in the smell of new threads and new greens, giving hugs to each and every person. Funny thing is that I always mess the hug-starting shoulder [your right-left-right].

The most exciting part of Eid is the night before (Chand Ra’at – Moon Night). That is the night everyone goes out shopping or getting henna or watching girls get henna and buying box loads of chur’ian (colored glass bangles). Like a gigantic Mardi Gras coupled with Pamplona. As the calendar is lunar based, lots of people go to the rooftops trying to see that new moon. Eid ul Fitr marks the end of Ramadan (the month of fasting), which can only be ascertained by the actual “sighting” of the new moon.

Last year, there were three Eid ul Fitr in Pakistan. Based on when the new moon was sighted in Karachi (from the top of the Habib Bank Building) and Punjab, and two in Peshawar. Lunar madness, for real. As a result, many called for an end to the madness and have Eid proclaimed nationally throughout Pakistan. Others with turbans said, no way.

Here in America, at least for this year, all the Muslim organizations have banded to announce Eid on the same day – which I think is great. I always hope that Muslim holidays will seep into the American consiousness over time. Maybe, we can have our kids stay home like those xmas celebrating or hanukkah celebrating kids. Celebrating Eid across America is a great start.

To all my readers, Eid Mubarak. Hug a Muslim on Sunday. Or buy a stamp.

AND

Duh! I totally spaced out that Diwali started as well! Happy Diwali to all my friends! Now everyone, go party.

19 Replies to “Eid”

  1. Dear Heather: You should visit Pakistan with your children. If that is not possible, communities like Houston, Chicago or New Jersey have lots of functions/festivals which you can visit/participate in. If that is not possible, your husband can be your guide and the internet your community.

    As always, there is plenty of reading material

  2. Thank you for writing about your eid traditions. I am a married to a Muslim from Pakistan and I would like to know of ways to teach my two children (19 months and 4 years old) about all of the Islamic “cultural” traditions.

    Thanks

    Heather Mirza

  3. Sevaiyyan — damn that’s hardcore of aamir. AND you stood by the creation of the enemy keralas! res-pect, as ali g would say.
    Which reminds me that I should write up a list of eid traditions.

  4. don’t know what ‘organizations’ you speak of….here in nyc the afghani guys at ‘halal pizza 24 hrs” were eating on saturday to sync up with the saudis but we, along with our egyptian neighbors and the stray moroccan boy we’ve taken in, held out til sunday. did ten bags of late night shopping for exotics at apna bazaar in jackson heights amid car stereos blaring bhangra and jay-walking saris flapping in the cold wind, came home and hung twinkly lights in the front room. aamir did a kick-ass mendhi on my left hand at 4 am and then woke up and made sayaaawyen (you know, that vermicelli dish whose name sounds like teenagers imitating chinese) and cooked six dishes (incl. the enemy karelas) for six people. just finished the dishes. eid mubarak !

  5. Hey, is it too wierd for a Christian to wish you all Eid Mubarak? If so, I wasn’t going to. If not, people of the book party on!

    :)

  6. I WISH EID TO ALL MUSLIM BRETHERN. THE HUSTLE & BUSTLE OF EID AND ITS JOYFUL PREPARATIONS AND CELEBRATIONS ARE NOT SEEN ANY WHERE ELSE EXCEPT PAKISTAN.THE RAMADAN HAS ITS OWN BLESSINGS AND EID BEING THE ” REWARD DAY” HAS ITS OWN SIGNIFICANCE.THE HAPPINESS ASSOCIATED WITH EID FESTIVAL TO MEET,VISIT AND TALK TO FAMILY, RELATIVES, NEIGHBOURS, AND FRIENDS IS SO EXCITING
    AND WARM. PEOPLE RUSH TO HOME FROM ABROAD TO CELEBRATE EID WITH THEIR FAMILIES. THE MOMENTS OF MEETINGS WITH DEAR AND NEAR ONE`S ARE FULL OF
    HAPPINESS AND GLADNESS, IT IS DIFFICULT TO EXPRESS. ASK THOSE WHO PLAN AND RETURN TO HOME ON THIS AUSPICIOUS DAY ESPECIALLY FROM MIDDLE EAST.
    I AM CELEBRATING EID WITH MY SONS IN SWEDEN AND ALTHOUGH I AM VERY HAPPY TO BE WITH THEM; I STILL MISS THE ZEAL AND ENTHUSIESM OF HOME COUNTRY. I HAVE BEEN ABLE TO CALL MANY RELATIONS AND FRIENDS IN PAKISTAN, YET I FEEL I MISS ALOT.
    I WISH VERY HAPPY EID TO MY FAMILY AND FRIENDS.

  7. eid mubarak. i find it interesting how in some parts of the world ramadhan is of 29 days while in other parts it is a 30 day fasting. They just accounced sunday eid in pakistan, while we had to fast for another day. but look at the bright side. the eid is on same day in pakistan and usa.

  8. That is the night everyone goes out…. I remember ‘sepoy’ going out on chand raat with his ‘bandana boys’ on dozen half-naked 125’s with no mufflers in the silencer and racing on mall/jail road till 2 in the morning!!

    P.S. My Khucha friend says, ‘ Hum apna eid khud karta hay, kyunkay committe ko chand kabhi nazar nain atta. wo saab jhoot bolta hay!! So we are going to have atleast 3 eids in PK!! ‘again’

  9. Here in America, at least for this year, all the Muslim organizations have banded to announce Eid on the same day – which I think is great.

    Who cares about organizations?? Here in Atlanta, Eid is tomorrow at least in the majority of mosques. Caught me with surprise; I wasn’t expecting a Saturday Eid.

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