Eid is finally round the corner and all eyes are set on the upcoming festival that is celebrated amidst much fanfare across the world! Eid-ul-Fitr is widely celebrated across the globe and in the Islamic world. The festival has rich cultural significance, and symbolizes the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Check out how this special festival is celebrated across the world.
Eid in United States of America
Muslims of the United States gather in various Islamic Centres, open parks, convention halls and mosques, to offer prayers and indulge in the Eid celebrations. Muslim families visit each other’s residences with gifts and sweets, and there are large feasts organised in community halls and mosques. Festivities continue for 3 days in the USA and people gift each other spicy, sweet and other flavourful delicacies, and also visit amusement parks, multiplexes, skating rinks and other activity centres.
Eid in United Kingdom
Eid al-Fitr is not a public holiday in the country, however, many Muslims attend the prayer in the morning. Some local businesses and schools also offer extension and leaves to Muslims, to enable them to enjoy the celebrations of Eid. Most men of South Asian origin wear jubba, thawb and sherwani while women prefer salwar kameez during the morning prayers. People also visit the local cemetery to offer prayers for their deceased family members. Visiting of family friends and relatives also forms a key element of the celebration. Traditional dishes like Handesh, Noonor Bora, Fulab, Siweya, etc are cooked and cherished during Eid.
Eid in Egypt
In Egypt, Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations are held over four days. Fish recipes are an essential part of the Eid feast, along with other delicacies such as Fata and Kahk. Following the special prayer, families visit their friends and relatives to distribute gifts and sweets. Children receive money, gifts and new clothes from elders. People also visit popular cultural sites, take a Nile River cruise and revel in getaways to the famous sea-side resorts of Hurghada and Sharm-El-Shaikh.
Eid in Canada
Majority of Canadian Muslims make their way to the several Islamic centres and take a day off during the Eid festival. Cities like Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, Ottawa and Calgary organise prayers at the Islamic centres, convention halls, sport arenas and mosques. Prayers are held multiple times to accommodate the large Muslim communities here. Children receive money and gifts from their parents and elders. Community feats are also organised in the various community centres and cultural zones. People also visit the amusement parks, shopping malls and activity centres with family and friends.
Eid in Turkey
Eid-ul-Fitr is a public holiday in Turkey. All government offices and schools are closed during the 3-day period of this festival. The celebrations are in accordance with Turkey’s popular traditions. Turkish people wear new clothes that are referred as bayramlik. People visit prayer services, wear their best clothes and purchase gifts and souvenirs for their friends, family members and relatives. The Eid celebrations is known as Bayram and it’s customary to visit cemeteries to greet and pray for their deceased family members. The celebrations also include delightful Turkish traditional sweets like Baklava, Turkish Delight, chocolates, and more.
Eid in Malaysia
In Malaysia, Eid is known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, which means celebration day of Eid-ul-Fitr. Malaysians travel back to their homes to seek their forgiveness and to pray with elders, parents, and in-laws. This homecoming tradition is known in Malaysia as Balik Kampung or ‘the homecoming’. In Malaysia, it’s important to wear traditional cultural clothes during the celebrations. People participate in prayers and open their houses to entertain family and friends. Gifts are distributed and there are special celebrations as well as grand meals during the Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations in Malaysia.
Eid in Saudi Arabia
The festival of Eid al-Fitr is celebrated with great affection in Saudi Arabia. It involves delicious meals comprising of traditional Saudi recipes and decoration of homes. Following prayers, families gather at their patriarchal homes with families and relatives. Young children receive gifts from the elder family members, and a special Eid meal is prepared. Family members distribute gifts among themselves and also offer gifts to strangers. In some areas of Saudi, neighbours put large rugs on the streets and each household will cook and share meals with all the neighbours!
Eid in India
In India, the night before Eid is called Chaand Raat which means ‘Night of the Moon’. Muslims of India visit markets, shopping malls and bazaars with their families to buy new clothes, gifts and sweets. Ladies apply the traditional henna on their hands and feet and purchase colourful bangles. Indian Muslims greet each other saying ‘Eid Mubarak’, followed by a formal embrace. Gifts and new clothes are distributed to the family members and relatives, and traditional sweets like Sivayyan, Lachcha and Kheer are prepared.