Come Eid and smiling faces, sparkling Mosques, bustling streets and markets, children dressed in a colorful manner, the scrumptious whiff coming out of the kitchen chimneys greet you. The air is full of happiness, joy and festivity. It marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan (the month of fasting).

As the sun sets on Ramadan, multitude of Expectant jubilant eyes becomes glued to the skies, eager to sight the new moon. For the new moon heralds the coming of the Eid day – one of the two days Muslims all over the world celebrate each year in thanksgiving festivities and rejoicing. Eid-ul-fitr is celebrated on the first day of the month of Shawwal of the Muslim calendar after sighting the moon.

The day of Eid is a day to thank almighty Allah for that grace which carried us through the month of earnest, joyous labor, of constant, faithful toil, spent in fasting, prayers, and Quran recitation. It is a day to celebrate the true spirit of humanity and remember the poor and the helpless and pray for all those who are in need. Festivities of the day take place with families visiting homes of their relatives, friends and associates. On this day family members from children to adults, hug each other and spread the spirit of mirth and joy around. Eid is a family event and families visit each others houses and greet them with wishes, gifts and compliments. People give special charity to poor and it is called Sadaqah-fitr. A special Eid prayer is held in big mosques and Eidgahs to thank the almighty for his blessings and benevolence.

Eid-ul-fitr is also known as Sewayian (vermicelli) Eid as vermicelli is cooked as a sweet dish in almost every Muslim home. If not vermicelli then something sweet is served to every guest. Lunch is a sumptuous feast. Children are highly excited as they are to receive Eidhi (gift money) from their loved ones. The evening culminates in a display of fireworks.

Let us pledge not to get swayed by the festivities and gaieties of Eid but be humble and generous and concerned as there is so much of suffering and pain all around us.

Fatimah Kanth

[Image Source: http://flickr.com/photos/khalilshah/278056889/]