What Eid Al Fitr Is All About
Eid Mubarak everyone! I know I know what you're thinking that was Sunday, but Eid lasts three days (woohoo!) so technically I'm good. Or maybe you're asking me what Eid is. That's cool too. I realized this weekend when I posed about the end of Ramadan and Eid most of my followers had NO idea I was Muslim or what Eid was. I actually received some not nice comments, but instead of basking in the negativity, I thought this would be a good time to share what Eid is and means to me, a Muslim woman.
Eid comes around twice a year for Muslims once to celebrate the end of Ramadan an Islamic month where we fast from dawn to dusk. And another one when it's time to pilgrimage for Hajj which is a requirement for all able Muslims.
This one was to celebrate the end of Ramadan known as Eid Al Fitr. The party kicks off on the night of the 30th fast when we see the crescent moon in the sky. Islam follows the lunar calendar and we do things the old school way so, we literally look up to the sky for our dates. Once we see the moon it's time to party. Traditionally there's a Chand Raat Mela which translates to Moon Night Festival. Where everyone gathers together on the streets and enjoys food, music and time with family and friends. I love attending chand raat mela's with my cousins. The girls always get their henna done by one of the vendors and our moms shop for last minute Eid clothes and jewelry. It's custom for you to wear brand new clothes and shoes on Eid. Dads usually gather at a table with yummy street food and kabobs and chat. The festival begins at sundown and lasts up into the wee hours of the morning. We stayed out until 2am! Thankfully there was a festival happening walking distance from my parents' home. It was so fun to see the entire Muslim community come together for a joyous occasion.
On the day of Eid we wake up fairly early get dressed in our Eid clothes making sure we look A1. This year I ordered my Eid clothes from an online company based in India. I sent them my measurements and a few weeks later I was pleased with a stunning outfit. Once we're all dressed we set forth to Eid prayer. Prayer for Muslims is a community event. The more people that pray together the more rewards you will earn. So on big nights such as Eid we like to rent out banquet halls, stadiums, or even parks and gather all the Muslims from many different mosques so we can all pray together. Once prayer is completed everyone is given sweets such as gulab jamun which is a deep fried honey and cinnamon ball drenched in a honey syrup. It hits that sweettooth in the perfect spot. Along with sweets kids are given Eidi which is basically a sum of money from all their relatives and loved ones. I've unfortunately have grown out of receiving Eidi but when I was younger I remember coming home and having over $500 from all my relatives. Quite the loot for an eight year old.
After Eid prayer we all gather at a relatives home bringing an abundance of food for everyone. Thankfully my mother grew up in the Northern Virginia area and so her entire extended family lives within a 20min drive. That means all the second cousins, cousins you aren't sure how you're related to, and every uncle who calls you by the wrong name get together for a long family day. All 36 cousins don't get a chance to see each other too often so it's pretty fun when we're all together. My mom's side of the family is pretty big, so it can get a little nuts. After we've all consumed our weight in biryani and sheer korma and the older cousins get harassed about why they're still single we retire home preparing our bodies to do it all over again.
It was such a fun family filled day. Which I absolutely loved. I hope this post gave you all the family and loving feels and enlightened you a little more about what being Muslim and celebrating Eid is about.