Saturday, 10 August 2013

Festivals of India


Eid-ul-Fitr often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). The religious Ed is a single day (a Muslim is not permitted to fast that day), but it is usually celebrated for 3 days. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", while Fiṭr means "breaking the fast". The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The first day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month Shawwal. 

In India, the night before Eid is called Chaand Raat, which means, "Night of the Moon." Muslims in these countries will often visit bazaars and shopping malls with their families for Eid shopping. Women, especially younger girls, will often apply the traditional Mehndi, or henna, on their hands and feet and wear colorful bangles.

Designer Mehendi

Muslims believe that the Quran is sent down from heaven during this Ramadan month. Eid Al-Fitr, the festival of happiness comes after the end of this month of Fast for recurring happiness. It is also believed that one day near Mecca Muhammad was sitting alone. At this time Angel Gabriel came to him and asked him to read. But Prophet Muhammad did not know how to read. Then the angel made him learn how to read and taught him verses from the Quran. This great festival is followed by the Islamic calendar. With utmost devotion the people of Muslim religion celebrate this festival.

Eid in Kolkata

The traditional Eid greeting is Eid Mubarak, and it is frequently followed by a formal embrace. Gifts are frequently given — new clothes are part of the tradition — and it is also common for children to be given small sums of money (Eidi) by their elders. It is common for children to offer Salam to parents and adult relatives.

Eid in Burdwan
Eid in Ahmedabad, Gujrat.

After the Eid prayers, it is common for some families to visit graveyards and pray for the salvation of departed family members. It is also common to visit neighbors, family members, especially senior relatives called Murubbis and to get together to share sweets, snacks and special meals including some special dishes that are prepared specifically on Eid. Special celebratory dishes in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh include sivayyan, a dish of fine, toasted sweet vermicelli noodles with milk and dried fruit. 

After Prayer

On Eid day before prayers, people distribute a charity locally known as fitra. Many people also avail themselves of this opportunity to distribute zakat, an Islamic obligatory alms tax of 2.5% of one's annual savings, to the needy. Zakat is often distributed in the form of food and new clothes. Eid Ul-Fitr is a festival that makes people to celebrate all the good things in life.

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