Eid ul-Fitr – The Festival of Oneness
How many of you have had the utterly lip-smacking sheer korma? For those of you who haven’t, sheer korma is a delectable sweet treat made of vermicelli, milk, and sugar and sprinkled with almonds, pistachios and dates. This dessert is associated with Eid or Eid al-Fitr, which is the end of the month long fast of Ramadan, and is the Festival of Fast Breaking. Eid ul-Fitr is synonymous with the spirit of joy and giving thanks. There may be variations in the exact date of the festival as it depends on the sighting of the moon, and as such, its date is usually announced at the start of Ramadan.
The night before Eid is called Chaand Raat, literally meaning “night of the moon.” Women and young girls celebrate the festival by applying henna on their hands, and families go out together for Eid shopping. Greeting each other on Eid with the words “Eid Mubarak” is customary followed by a formal embrace and Muslim households offer the fabled sheer korma to their visitors through the day. Another fun thing associated with this festival is the give and take of gifts and Eidi, which are small sums of money gifted to kids.
It’s a universal festival!
Muslims all over the world celebrate Eid by offering prayers, greeting each other, giving money to the poor known as zakat, and feasting with their friends and families. Many people also visit the graveyards to pay respects to their departed. The mosques see a lot of visitors on Eid ul-Fitr. Some of the most visited mosques of India are Jama Masjid in Delhi, Aishbagh Idgah in Lucknow and Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad. A thing to be noted during Eid is that it is also celebrated by non-Muslims and many of them visit their Muslim friends. This festival is celebrated by everyone with great zest and happiness. It is a festival when people let go of their hatred and jealousy and bring in an era of love, happiness and brotherhood.
This year, Eid ul-Fitr falls on the 19th of July. How are you going to spend the holiday?