This June 5, Muslims all around the world are celebrating the auspicious festival of Eid-ul-Fitr, also known as the “festival of breaking the fast”. The festival marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. Its origin stems from the Islamic prophet Mohammad, and is observed on the very first day of the month of Shawwal, at the end of Ramadan.
According to Islamic tradition, the festival begins after sunset and occurs on the first day that the crescent moon is sighted. In the event that the moon is not sighted on the 29th day of the previous lunar month, either due to it being hidden behind clouds or for any other reason, the festival is celebrated the next day. A specific prayer is designated for Eid which is performed in wide, open areas and mosques. These places of worship are also known as Eidgah. This prayer is performed differently in Shia and Sunni Islam. Fasting, in the Islamic faith, is said to strengthen the bond between Muslims and their Lord, however, fasting is forbidden on the day of Eid. This festival symbolises Muslims’ thankfulness towards their creator.
This year in India, Eid-ul-Fitr is being celebrated with the utmost vigor and enthusiasm all across the country. Markets like the Chandni Chowk market in old Delhi truly personify the celebratory spirit of the people, wherein the streets are packed with overzealous crowds, scrambling to get their hands on new garments and other commodities. Places like the Jama Masjid in Delhi, Aishbagh Eidgah in Lucknow, Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, etc. are a few places that have seen an overwhelming turnout of devout Muslims, to offer prayers. Apart from the traditional activity of shopping, delicious and exquisite tasting dishes are a norm of this festival. These dishes include the delectable dessert known as seviyan (sweet vermicelli), a mainstay in Eid celebration.
A festival of shopping and feasting, Eid-ul-Fitr perfectly encapsulates the devotion of Muslims as well as their gratitude and thankfulness toward their creator. That being said, it does not solely signify the revelry of Islamic faith but is also a festival of brotherhood.