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Celebrating Eid Away From Home

What is Eid?

Eid literally translates to “Celebration” which is celebrated by Muslims all over the world. There are two Eids celebrated every year; Eid-ul-Fitr, which follows the holy month Ramadan and Eid-ul-Adha, the Festival of Sacrifice. Eids are based on the Islamic lunar calendar, therefore it can be difficult to predict when the festival will take place.

My Celebration in Adelaide

Adelaide is known as the Festival State because it holds so many festivals. It was great to again celebrate Eid-ul-fitr in my new home town.

The night before Eid is called “Chad Raat”, the last moment to finish shopping for Eid and also when women apply henna on their hand. This year, I got stunning henna art done on my hand. For those who don’t know, henna is a dye prepared from a plant that can be used as temporary body decoration similar in appearance to a tattoo.

Eid is infused with different traditions in different countries. The day begins with Eid prayers in mosques or in large halls which bring everyone together. Then everyone greets each other by saying, “Eid Mubarak” which means “Blessed Eid”.

During Ramadan (also known as the Fasting Month), I was eagerly waiting Eid-ul-fitr, and started preparing by online shopping. I bought some traditional dresses and matching ornaments for the festival, as we must wear new, clean clothes on the day.

I started my morning in traditional dress called ‘Saree’, which I brought locally at a store in Regency Park. I then performed some morning prayers, and received some “salami” (new notes of money as a gift) from my partner. Gift giving and receiving is a fun part of Eid; the spirit of giving runs rampant during Eid-ul-fitr, which adds to the connection that many feel to one another during the festival.

No holiday season is complete without seeing some long-lost relatives, and Eid is no exception. As I have some relatives and friends in Adelaide I went over to their houses to wish them a happy and warm Eid. Visiting friends and family is one of the integral traditions of Eid which can make for a very happy family or a half an hour of small talk!

I also welcomed some of my friends to my home, where they arrived with desserts and gifts. As I was the host, I cooked traditional food and dessert to share my culture including: luchi (a deep-fried flatbread), alur dom (a potato based dish), polau (rice dish cooked in stock with spices), chicken korma and many more. For dessert, I made faluda (a dessert disguised as a drink!), jorda (a sweet rice dessert), and mohonvog. Another dessert I made is called “Shemai”, a very important food of the festival – because without it, Eid doesn’t feel like Eid. They were all delicious, colourful and full of flavour.

Over to you

What did your celebration of Eid-ul-fitr look like?

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