What happens on Eid ul-Fitr?

Eid ul-Fitr is the festival day marking the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting for Muslims. Eid ul-Fitr is a major holiday for Muslims, one of the most important, similar to how important Christmas is for Christians.

The day begins with showers, then wearing new clothes when possible. The men will go to mosque around 7:30 am for the special sermon and prayer and will return around 8:30 am. At that time, the family has breakfast.

Lunch will be a pretty big affair with more of a variety of dishes than an every day meal would have. We ordered out for our lunch, but in the past, have also cooked, which usually involves starting some things the day before and a grand total of a lot of hours in the kitchen. Dessert in this house is always wattalapam, Fahim’s mom’s specialty, a custard made from eggs, coconut milk, and jaggery, although there may be other desserts as well.

Eid is generally a day for family. If extended family is close by, visits among them will happen, as will visits to the family of those who married into the family. Or extended family may get together for lunch.

When there are a lot of people together for lunch, we may go the route of having a communal food pot. In that case, the men will sit on the floor around one dish of rice and curries, and the women will sit on the floor around another dish of rice and curries. Then, Fahim tells me, one dish of curries is tossed onto the rice and everyone eats until that’s gone, then another curry is tossed onto the rice and that’s eaten until it’s gone, and so on until all the curries are done and everyone’s full.

I haven’t eaten at the communal pot because a. they take pity on me for being a foreigner (my words, not theirs) 😀 and b. I can’t sit on the floor without a huge amount of pain rendering me unable to walk after. I tend to get a plate of rice and curries to myself with a chair. 🙂 Because the men and women are segregated in some Muslim households, Fahim’s mom usually takes care of things by talking to the women of the household and getting me settled with food in hand. 🙂 Because my Sinhala is pathetic and my Tamil

When visiting family, sweets and something to drink is usually offered. While this is standard of most visits to anyone’s home here, on Eid or other celebratory occasions, the selection is greater. 🙂

Gifts are traditional and usually involve new clothing. I usually get shalwaar kits (to sew myself since my size doesn’t exist here). Fahim tends to get shirts (both dress and t-shirts) as well as pants. Fahim’s mother will receive saris. Fahim’s dad will get dress shirts. And naturally, kids in the family tend to get more gifts than the adults. 🙂

And the next day, the six optional days of fasting start for those who are doing it. 🙂

Other entries about Eid ul-Fitr:

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3 thoughts on “What happens on Eid ul-Fitr?”

  1. Barb, I was also thinking about the similarities to Easter or Christmas. Really, there are more similarities than not. 🙂 Okay, so the clothes are different, the food is different, but that’s cultural, not religious.

    Christmas dinner here, among Christians, doesn’t involve turkey unless you’re a white foreigner who had that tradition growing up. Christmas dinner would consist of curries of one kind or another since that’s what people here eat. 🙂

  2. Thank-you – you know this is somewhat similar to Easter – after a fast – that morning going to church – and special Easter lunch with Eggs, and sweets (I celebrate a Polish Easter) – and Easter baskets for the children and everyone has new spring clothes. Family comes over – very similar. Interesting!
    .-= Barbfmc´s last blog ..Garden Up Pesto Down =-.

  3. Yes, at heart there’s a core to all religions that branches out. It’s what’s so interesting to me: the many different ways we are the “same”. And, noting the ‘same’ and how it is different. Two sides, I guess, to the “same” coin.
    .-= Barbfmc´s last blog ..Garden Up Pesto Down =-.

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