November 25, 2003


I take this opportunity to wish every person I can reach with this weblog a happy Eid. Let the festivity touch everybody and let us hope for a peaceful coexistence of people of all color, religion and race in the world without hatred or friction.

Eid is a Muslim festival. After the month of Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting and abstinence, on the first day of the month Shawwal, Muslims celebrate Eid, which means 'festivity' in Arabic. This Eid is called Eid-ul-Fitr (first of the two in a year), which is the celebration of Allah's magnanimity in providing everything to man. On this day 1.2 billion Muslims around the world celebrate the joyous 'Festival of fast breaking'. It is very symbolic as it represents victory for Muslims who have successfully undergone a month long battle of self-restraint and abstinence by fasting.

The Eid prayer is obligatory on every male Muslim. The prayer is performed anytime between sunrise and afternoon. However it is customer to perform the prayer in the morning. In the morning everyone bathes, wears new or clean clothes, applies perfume and walks towards the Mosque or any other open place where they can offer the Eid prayer collectively. Part of the ritual is people embracing each other three times. And there should be no discrimination between rich and poor, old and the young, friend and enemy while embracing. For a Muslim Eid is a day of thanksgiving, sharing foods with the neighbors and the poor. On this day, according to holy Quran, Allah has ordained a dole for every Muslim who is free and is in possession of Alms worthy capital. It is to be given to a needy person as thanksgiving. It is mandatory on all the well-off Muslims. So that the poor, too, may enjoy the day along with others, and may not be worried for earning their livelihood at least on the day of happiness.

Apart from that Eid is celebrated all over the world according different cultures and customized celebrations.

In Bangladesh, Eid means sharing happiness with the family, giving new clothes of all colors to all dependent members of the family and wearing them on this day. On this day special foods are prepared, the preparation of which may start several days before. The items include Semai(vermicelli), Doi Bara, Chotpoti, Biriani, Firni, Sweets and many more. This day there is an open invitation to everybody. People visit family members', neighbors' or acquaintances' houses and everybody is welcomed with food and blessings. It is customary to take blessings from the elderly who in return give monetary tips (Eidi). Specially the children are more kin to collect all the tips they can accumulate and have some money to celebrate on their own, like going to theatre in bunch or having a party. The visits go on for a couple of more days till the Eid vacation is over. Some people go visit cemeteries to remember and pray for their loved ones.


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