Eid brings bundles of joy with it despite being such a simple festival. Muslims rejoice the month of Ramadan that is spent in obeying the orders of Almighty. The one month of sacrifice, discipline, and empathy where one controls all his/her worldly desires (food being a small part of it) to please his Creator, is spiritually rewarded and it is concluded with Eid-Ul-Fitr.
The day of Eid beings with ‘ghusl’. It means taking bath to get rid of all the physical and spiritual impurities. Each Muslim, according to their capacity, puts on their finest clothes on this day. A special Eid prayer is performed in an open garden or park in which everyone participates. In certain South-Asian countries, women have the tradition of adorning their hands with intricate henna patterns to mark this holy day.
Islam, a monotheistic religion that originated in Saudi Arabia, today accounts for 24.9% of the world’s population. It is the second-largest religion in the world after Christianity with 1.9 billion followers around the world. Muslims make up a majority of the population in over 51 countries. Hence it is very natural to have different Eid traditions across the globe. Let us have a look at how Eid-Ul-Fitr is celebrated around the world.
Eid Traditions In UAE
In the past, men in UAE used to wear Kandoora (traditional clothing), this tradition is slowly dying. Women dress up in new clothes and perfume their hair. Women of all ages apply henna on their hands. Children receive gifts and new clothes and they celebrate the day with traditional games and lots of fun.
Eid is celebrated for three days here, starting with the morning prayers on the first day. The second and third days are mostly spent with a big family or social gatherings where all kinds of foods and drinks are served. Harees (a porridge of whole wheat and meat) and Balaleet (sweet vermicelli noodles topped with an omelet) are staple Eid meals in UAE.
Eid Traditions In Singapore
The highlight of Eid-ul-Fitr Traditions in Singapore is the light festival at Geylang Serai. Men, Women and children wear new clothes and start the day with prayers at the nearby mosque. After prayers, most people head to their relatives where scrumptious treats await. Dishes like beef rending (a beef stew made in coconut milk and spices), sayurlodeh (Vegetable soup cooked in coconut milk gravy) are few main dishes on the occasion of Eid.
Eid Traditions In India/ Pakistan
The subcontinent celebrates in a similar manner by starting their day with special Eid prayers in the morning. Everyone wears new clothes and wishes each other ‘Eid Mubarak’ as a tradition. Women and girls adorn their hands with henna patterns and buy new jewelry. No Indian or Pakistani eid is complete without sewaiyya or sheer, with the side dish of mouth-watering kebabs. Eid-Ul-Fitr is also known as ‘Meethi Eid’ as it features a large variety of sweet dishes.
Eid Traditions In Saudi Arabia
Just like their Muslim counterparts in others regions, Saudis mark the ending of Ramadan by having a 3-day celebration. It begins with a quiet soulful morning Eid prayers and ends with lavish parties and large feasts. Children receive money and other gifts from their elders. A lot of people bake Kleichas, rose-flavored biscuits with stuffed nuts and dates.
Eid Traditions In United Kingdom
The British Muslims start their Eid festivities by waking up early to offer Eid prayers at the local mosque or open ground. They decorate their houses with lights and wear their finest clothes. After prayers, they gather together with friends and family to enjoy lavish meals. Many people practice the exchange of gifts on this occasion. South Asian community residing in the UK has the tradition of Sheer Khurma. Moroccan cuisine Laasida, Indonesian Lapis legit, Indian /Pakistani biryani, Afghan bolani, and some of the popular Eid food traditions in the UK.
Eid Traditions In Turkey
After participating in the world’s largest communal feasting event, i.e. Ramadan, Turkish people celebrate Eid-Ul-Fitr with zeal. This Eid is also referred to as ‘Seker Bayrami’ which can be loosely translated to ‘Sugar Feast’. The day is traditionally spent with family and friends, visiting elders, exchanging food and gifts, and dressing up in your finest clothes. Baklava and other sweet Turkish delights are one of the main dishes on the day of Eid.
Besides the celebration with friends and family, Ramadan and Eid are meant to serve society as well. One of the five pillars of Islam is Zakat i.e. charity. Since rewards manifold during this month, Muslims generously give out charity to needy people, relatives, educational institutions and orphanages etc. Before the Eid prayers, every adult Muslim in possession of a certain amount must pay Zakat-Al-Fitr to needy individuals. It is a beautiful moral code to help people in need.