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