How Eid al-Fitr is Celebrated Around the Globe?
Eid ul-Fitr is one of the religiously significant festivals for Muslims all around the world. Eid marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan where Muslims fast for a month and then celebrate Eid by the end of it.
Eid ul-Fitr celebrations are pretty much the same everywhere, however, regional differences may occur. From the Middle East to South Africa to Asia, Muslims all around the world celebrate Eid in different ways by decorating their homes and by exchanging gifts with each other.
Ramadan is supposed to be a month of forgiveness and control over one’s needs and desires. Control over your need for food, water, and any other physical or psychological needs.
It is a month of charitable giving and self-reflection. One is supposed to make as much charity as one can make in terms of money, food, or otherwise. During Ramadan, doing one good deed is equal to doing 70 good deeds so the reward will be 70 times more than what it is on the normal days.
From sunrise to sunset, Muslims abstain from any drink, food, or any other kind of physical need. It is believed that during the month of Ramadan, the gates of hell are closed and the gates of heaven are opened. During this time, Muslims increase their prayers and Quran recitations and ask for forgiveness from their God as it is believed that it is also the month of forgiveness and one’s sins will be forgiven if repented whole heartedly.
The fast start early in the morning somewhere around 5 am, which means eating is allowed before sunrise. Muslims get up for ‘Sehri’ which is the food consumed to retain energy for the entire day.
This fasting for several hours requires the person to not consume any food or even a drop of water.
The fast ends at sunset somewhere around 6:45 pm and that is when Muslims break their fast with dates and water and with “Iftaari” which is a combined name for all the food that can be eaten while breaking fasts which includes Fruit Chat, Chana, Papad, Aalu Chaat, Dahi Bhalle, Jalebi, Imarti, Lassi, Chicken Popcorn, Cheese and Potato Balls and several other items.
These items differ from one household to another but it’s pretty much the same almost everywhere. At the time of breaking the fasts, one can feel every drop of water spreading inside the stomach which is a heavenly feeling which cannot be described but only experienced.
The concept of fasting is to abstain from all physical needs and to understand or step into the shoes of the less fortunate who starve every day and not just during this holy month.
Thus, charity is an important aspect as you are supposed to give what you can’t have at the moment.
Eid marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Eid Celebrations are a reward for fasting through the entire month.
It depends on the sighting of the moon. if the moon has been sighted on the 29th day of Ramadan then Eid will be on the next day, however no sighting of the moon on the 29th means there will be one more day of fasting, followed by Eid on the next day.
Since Eid is the major festival of Muslims around the world, it is celebrated with a lot of enthusiasm. Muslims offer the morning prayer after which they greet each other with “Eid Mubarak.”
The best part about Eid is the traditional dish called “Sewai”, which is a sweet dish made with milk, dry fruits, and Sewai which is a noodle-like material and is as thin as hair. Sewai is an absolutely delicious dessert that sweetens your mouth as well as your heart.
Besides Sewai, there are other items cooked for the guests such as Kebabs, Chicken Wings, Biryani with Raita, and many other items which vary from one house to another and also from one country to another.
People buy new clothes, and new shoes, and everything is brand new for the occasion of Eid. Boys usually wear Kurta and girls wear suits. Everyone puts up their best dresses and visits their family and friends to greet each other.
Children receive Eidi, which is some amount of money given by elders as a gift for Eid. It is the tradition that elders give money on Eid to their younger ones as part of Eidi. It is a day filled with joy for families to come together and celebrate this very important festival and enjoy various delicacies together.
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Eid-al-Fitr Celebrations Around The World
Eid Celebrations in the Middle East
The Middle East, being the heart of Islamic Culture, is known for its lavish Eid Celebrations. The preparations for Eid start way before the actual day.
Cleaning of houses and decorations with lights, ornaments, and flowers. After offering the prayers in the Mosques, people greet each other with Eid Mubarak and give hugs to others to spread joy and happiness.
The celebrations are not only restricted to homes only. The shopping malls, streets, and markets are crowded and the festive atmosphere can be felt in the air. Several cultural events and programs take place during Eid.
Eid is a three-day celebration and people take time off from their work to spend time with their loved ones.
Some people throw lavish parties with rich delicacies and invite people over to add to the festive spirit.
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Eid Celebrations in South Asia
In South Asia, Eid celebrations are pretty much the same starting with Eid prayers in the mosque and greeting each other with hugs.
The houses are decorated and cleaned and a sweet dessert or another type of Sewai called Sheer Khurma is prepared for the guests who will be visiting. Kebabs, Biryani, and items of Chicken are prepared and served to the guests who come together to celebrate Eid.
People and children dress up in their best attire and go outside to meet their friends and family to enjoy the festival together. In India and Pakistan, there are several Eid Bazaars that people visit during the festival.
Eid Celebrations in Africa
Africa is not very different from any other country when it comes to celebrating Eid. Eid-ul-Fitr Celebrations are made with great enthusiasm and zeal throughout Africa starting with a morning prayer followed by visiting relatives and friends.
People dressing up in traditional attires and performing cultural dances are found in Africa. Traditional dances such as Adowa and Buraanbur are performed in Ghana and Somalia respectively and are a unique thing witnessed in Africa during Eid.
Sewai and Sheer Khurma are also prepared in Africa.
Eid Celebrations in Europe & North America
In some parts of Europe and North America, Eid-al-Fitr Celebrations are declared a public holiday and people are given holidays to spend time with their friends and families.
Just like in other places, Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations are done with great spirit as it is officially the only major festival of Muslims and they celebrate it with great enthusiasm. One can see the vibrant celebrations and the decor of the houses, which are absolutely clean and decorated with ornaments, lights, and flowers.
The delicious food prepared and the sewai and sheer khurma is what make Eid even more special
All in all Eid-al-Fitr Celebrations around the world are more or less the same in all continents with slight changes which are usually cultural differences. However, Eid is celebrated every year with great spirits, enthusiasm, and lots of love and brotherhood.
This is the time of the year when everyone is polite and humble towards others and you even get to meet and greet your neighbors who may not be very friendly during other days of the year but during the time of Eid, everyone’s a little more friendly than usual.
Maybe it is the festive vibe that opens up people to more love and light in their life. Children enjoy Eid to the fullest because they get to dress up, eat good food and receive Eidi from the elders.
The Eid Bazaars make Eid more interesting. The first day of Eid is all about visiting your relatives’ places and meeting each other. The second day is about welcoming guests to your houses and being the host for the guests.
This is usually decided by who comes to whose place beforehand so that there is no confusion. The third day is mainly about resting and relaxing to give your tired body some rest.
Eid-al Fitr is an important festival celebrated every year. Many Non-Muslims visit their friends’ houses to enjoy the delicacies prepared for the occasion of Eid and enjoy the food prepared for the feast.
They also get to experience different cultures and religious practices and enjoy the festive vibe along with their friends. There is no better feeling than celebrating your special occasions or festivals with your friends and family.