As Ramadan draws to a close, Muslims around the world will be celebrating Eid al-Fitr. It is an important celebration in Islam that takes place after the holy month of Ramadan and an occasion many Muslims look forward to every year. The day is full of gifts, food, good company, and memories.
Everyone wakes up early in the morning, and the usual routine begins: last-minute ironing, siblings fighting over who gets to use the bathroom first, and dads yelling from the front yard to hurry so that everyone can make the Eid prayer. Everyone squishes in the car and smiles as they head to the mosque.
Pictures are taken from every angle, hugs are given to everyone, and the prayer room is filled with the smell of food. The phrase “Eid Mubarak,” which translates to “Blessed Eid,” is said hundreds of times to different people. After prayer, everyone will get to eat breakfast in the morning, after a month of not being able to. The coffee tastes better, donuts are sweeter, and the sun shines a little brighter. Friends talk and laugh, adults chat over chai, and kids chase each other around. After being at the mosque for hours, families will head home for a more intimate celebration with their closest loved ones.
Various cultures will have different sweets for everyone to snack on. Desi families might have carrot halwa, a dish made from grated carrots and mixed with various spices like cardamom, sugar, and cream. Arab households could serve kleichas, which are cookies with slightly spiced dough and filled with date paste or a mix of walnuts and sugar. Turkish families might have classic sweets such as baklava or Turkish delights. The possibilities are endless and serve as a teaser to the feast that will come later. Tables are filled with food that many have craved over the past month, sweets, and an array of options to choose from. Plates are piled high, and cups are refilled as people enjoy their meals. Families will eat and talk the night away as the new moon shines brightly over the sky.
The past year looked different and many had to be creative with their gatherings while restrictions were in place. There were Eid Zoom calls, socially distanced meals, and food deliveries to celebrate the day. With the pandemic keeping everyone from engaging in the usual Eid activities last year, and things slowly coming back to normal, many are looking forward to this year’s celebration. It will be a different event that reminds many of the true meaning of Eid and the value it brings.
We are blessed with good company, good food, and — most importantly– good health, all of which is needed to have a blessed Eid.