I thought for this post I would go educational and teach you guys what Eid means to me and many others within my faith.
As we all know, there are two most common Christian events, Christmas and Easter. For us, we have Eid-el-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha.
Eid-el-Fitr is a celebration that occurs at the end of Ramadan, a holy month in which we fast from dawn til dusk for 30 days. Eid-el-Fitr is a celebration for this, as well as a reminder of how lucky we are to have the things in life we do have. We celebrate with family and friends, with food and presents, and many of us buy new dresses as we are told to look our best! Humble but our best. Girls also tend to wear henna for this day as well, preferably the night before so that overnight it becomes darker.
On the day of Eid, it is started by showering, so we are cleansed. We then pray together and give to the poor after. Within our prayers we pray for the ill and poor, those that are affected by war and those that are fighting their own inner battle. We pray to thank Allah (God) for all the good in our lives and to forgive the sins we may have committed. This day isn’t just to celebrate it is also a day of remembrance.
Once this is done, we all meet up with the rest of our family and friends. With my own family we tend to choose a house each year to which we all get together and have a feast and just enjoy each others company. Mainly the children are given presents, but many parents still like to spoil their children even when they are adults.
Eid-al-Adha is a celebration in correlation to our holy pilgrimage, Hajj. This is an annual pilgrimage that occurs in the city of Makkah. Thousands and thousands of people come together from all over the world and carry out mandatory duties over a period of five evenings. This date changes every year according to the Gregorian calendar as Islam follows the lunar calendar. It’s a pilgrimage that has to be carried out once in a lifetime by those that are physically, mentally and financially capable. The rituals involve each person walking counter-clockwise seven times around the Kaaba (the cube-shaped building and the direction of prayer for the Muslims) whilst reciting a prayer.
They then run back and forth between the hills of Safa and Marwah, drinks from the Zamzam Well, go to the plains of Mount Arafat to stand in vigil, and spend a night in the plain of Muzdalifa, and perform symbolic stoning of the devil by throwing stones at three pillars. The pilgrims then shave (for men) or cut (for women) their heads, perform a ritual of animal sacrifice, and celebrate the three-day global festival of Eid al-Adha. This is celebrated across three days and is known as the feast of sacrifice.
It is another day of remembering sacrifices, and to cleanse us of our sins. It is a day of celebration and prayer that individuals enjoy with family and friends, food and presents.
Phew! That was a long read wasn’t it? I shall leave it there for you so I don’t overload you with information!
If you guys have anymore questions then don’t be shy and do contact me on Twitter @ahteefah or even leave a comment below!
For now enjoy this picture of me dressed as girl on one of my Eid celebration days!