Eid-al-Fitr is an Islamic festival celebrated by Muslims all over the world to mark the end of Ramadan. But what exactly is Eid-al-Fitr?
Eid al-Fitr (Arabic) is also known as the Fast-Breaking Feast or the Lesser Feast. In the Islamic world, Eid al-Fitr is a special day for families and relatives. This two-to-three-day festival, which occurs shortly after the end of Ramadan, is the most meaningful and jubilant observance of the Islamic faith. In general, Eid allows the believers to express gratitude to God to provide them with the courage and conviction to complete the mandatory fast and follow His commandments during Ramadan and make them more aware of other needs.
Eid al-Fitr in Pakistan
Eid preparations typically begin at the start of Ramadan and last for the whole month. The bazaars are decked out to welcome Eid shoppers.
The rich and the poor shower to put on new dresses and start the day with a light breakfast of fine wheat noodles combined with milk, known as Vermicelli. Sheer Korma, a pasta dish cooked in milk and sugar and topped with almonds, pistachios, and dates, is a special treat shared with this festival in Pakistan. This dish is served after the Eid prayer and to any visiting guests during the day.
Kids, in particular, are excited because they have come to connect Eid al-Fitr with lavish presents and feasts. Adults traditionally congratulate children by giving them treats, gifts, and small amounts of money to show their excitement at the holiday. Mehndi is the temporary application of henna as a kind of skin decoration, most commonly seen during Eid al-Fitr.
The first arrival of the new moon of Shawwal, which signals the end of Ramadan’s fast, is a source of tremendous excitement—even greater than it was at the start of Ramadan. All rush to greet each other and starts cheering as soon as the moon is seen.
Eid al-Fitr customs and traditions
The main elements of the Eid festivities include sending money to the needy (called “Zakat al-Fitr”) depends on the possession that one has, submit greetings, and feasting with relatives. On this day, Muslims usually greet one another with the word “Eid Mubarak,” which means “blessed festival.” The quick response to Eid Mubarak is “Khair Mubarak,” which means wishes the person with the same blessings who has greeted you kindly. In most Muslim families, an Eid dinner will be held later in the evening to get people together. The festivities last a few more days, occasionally even until the following weekend.
Despite all of this, Muslims in Pakistan celebrate Eid with great enthusiasm. They do fun but don’t go to an extreme. Instead, they make charitable contributions. After all, Eid’s lesson is to put a smile on other people’s faces while destroying the evil inside.