Eid festivities and celebrations enjoyed by our local Muslim community
Chand Raat (Night of the Moon) is the eve of Eid Al -Fitr
After a month of fasting, on the last day of Ramadan, families and friends gather to spot the new moon, which signals the arrival of the Islamic month of Shawwal (the tenth month of the lunar calendar) and the day of Eid. Everyone wish each each other 'Chand Raat Mubarak' or 'Blessed New Moon' and the celebrations begin.
Women and girls decorate their hands with henna and preparations for the next day begin.
As per tradition, one of the highlights of this celebration is a small community or neighborhood bazaar or a pop up store that is set up to offer clothing, jewelry, henna decorations, arts and crafts. These public celebrations build a greater sense of community.
However, this has been modified where only some aspects of this tradition are followed in our local community.
The celebration of Chaand Raat holds both religious as well as social significance. Families and friends gather to sing and play instruments. People of all ages dance to various songs, including Bollywood music.
Friends and Families get dressed up with their best cultural outfits and jewelry
The morning of Eid: Prayers followed by Eid Milan
Families pray at home and then head to the mosque for communal prayers. People wear new clothes to mark a new beginning. After prayers, people hug each other as a cultural form of expressing love and brotherhood. This is refered to as Eid Milan. This tradition is followed mostly in the subcontinent of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh while other countries follow different traditions.
The Feast after the Fast
Throughout the day of Eid, people visit their friends and extended families who have parties and gatherings. Visitors flow in and out throughout the day to exchange greetings of Eid Mubarak (Blessed Eid), gifts and eat food. Families decorate their yards with warm welcoming signs and beautiful decor and flowers. People either host these parties outside in their yard or inside. This year most families hosted outside due to Covid.
One of the obligatory rituals of Eid, called Zakat Al-Fitr is to provide for the poor. Muslims usually give charity and food to the poor and the needy on the day of Eid.