Eid Mubarak folks! Over the last few months I’ve dedicated posts to most prominent Indian festivals. If you’d like to read about those, I’ll link them down below. Do follow my blog for more on Indian culture and festivities. Today we’ll talk about the Islamic festivals of Eid.
India has a sizeable Islamic population and a weighty history of Islamic culture. Though the partition of the country led to mass migration of Muslims across the border, many chose to stay behind in the land of their ancestors. Eid is a time for everyone to open their homes and celebrate with the world at large. For non-Muslims like me, it’s the best time to partake of their beautiful hospitality and their phenomenal cuisine!
Some standard eid food. From L-R: Biryani, Korma, Baakarkhaani
This eid is celebrated at the end of Ramzan, which is a month of fasting. According to the tenets of Islam, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for a month, in order to increase self-discipline (source). At the end of the month, they generously donate to the poor before celebrating eid. The month of Ramadan marks the revealing of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.
This eid is also known as “Bakrid” or the “Festival of Sacrifice”, inspired by the story of Ibrahim. This man was willing to sacrifice his son on the command of god, but fortunately the boy was substituted by a goat at the last minute. Muslims worldwide sacrifice a goat, which is then divided and distributed in three shares, to the poor, to friends and relatives, and kept for personal consumption.
Celebrating eid with family and friends
Growing up, I remember attending Eid parties with my parents at their friend’s homes. Eid became more personal for me in college, when a close Muslim friend started inviting our group to be part of the celebrations. For me, eid means dressing up in our Indian best, enjoying the light-hearted banter of friends and family, and scarfing down delectable food.
Traditionally, the eid feast includes Biryani, Kebabs, Mutton Korma with Naan, Baakarkhaani (a kind of sweet bread), and Sevaiyaan Kheer for dessert. The celebrations last the entire day and people are encouraged to walk in throughout and be part of the general revelry.
The younger lot or children of the family are presented with a small amount of money as “eidi”, or sometimes with presents. It’s a happy occasion that also offers an opportunity to enjoy a different culture to one’s own.
This rounds up on my post on Eid. Stay tuned for the next Indian festival post on Raksha Bandhan.
If you’d like to read more about Indian festivals, you can check out these posts:
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