A note on Eid

Hello again. Well presuming you have read my “about” bit it’s again, if you haven’t, why haven’t you!? If you haven’t read it, go read it please. Thank you. Now where was I? Oh yes, hi :)! So, what shall we talk about this week? Well considering Eid-ul-Ada was reasonably recent let me educate you in the world of Eid.

There are many things to know about this but I shall quickly tell you as it is not a R.E lesson. The first thing you should know is that there are two Eids. One over summer called Eid-ul-Fitur which celebrates the end of Ramadan, I’ll get to that in a moment, and Eid-ul-Adha celebrated around the end of October and early November. Eid-ul-Adha is to commemorate the willingness of the prophet Ibrāhīm (Abraham) to sacrifice his young first-born son Ishmael as an act of submission to God’s command and his son’s acceptance to being sacrificed, before God intervened to provide Abraham with a ram to sacrifice instead. Sound familiar? For this Eid there is no Ramadan, fasting for 30 days by not eating or drinking between sunrise or sunset, just prayers.

The second thing you should know is that on the day of Eid you eat as much as you can and go and see friends and family, kind of like christmas I guess. And the third, and most important thing you must know is that what you wear on Eid, sets up your status until the next big celebration which is either a wedding related celebration or next Eid. But that’s going off on a tangent I shall address later on. Eid-ul-Adha was on the 26th of October, but that changes every year depending on lunar cycles and it all gets very complicated, which meant…. NO SCHOOL!!!! Don’t know why I got so happy about that I spent the whole day revising! So while I got to spend an extra day revising for various exams after half term, all my muslim friends went out in beautiful new clothes to eat amazing food with their friends and family. Take a wild guess who had a better time! Obviously it’s not just about all the lovely new stuff as it is a religious festival. There are prayers in the morning and most people will go to mosque but after that it’s a big get together.

Now I’m sure most of you shall be wondering why write about this? What could the celebration of Eid have to do with me apart from getting an extra day of half term holiday? Well I shall tell you my patient reader. As I live near to Brick Lane (also know as Bangala town) the whole of Whitechapel and surrounding areas are decorated with jewellery, clothes, shoes and various Eid bargains which brings so much colour to a normally grey, monotone area of Tower Hamlets, with exception of a colourful market.

Another big change is the weeks leading up to Eid the main conversation to be heard is: “What are you wearing for Eid?”, “Are you hiring a car?”, “Do you want to go out to Nandos or something after?”. What and how you do Eid marks you status until the next celebration on the calendar. And, as we all know, status is the most important thing when you are in secondary school.So how do you get a high status after your Eid mission? Well you must have the right clothes, the right car (if you chose to do one) and the right food. If any of these are deemed slightly wrong, your Eid has failed. I at least enjoy two out of the three as I can get involved with them. I get to spend the weeks preceding the big day going round shalwar kameez shops with friends trying to find an outfit that will be remembered, that is the right combination of colours and the right cut for them. And I can tell you now, that is fun! Especially when you have the shop nearly to yourself and can spend ages modeling each outfit. The second good thing is the food. Whenever I go to an asian friend’s house I am given samosas, pacoras and various other bits of traditional Bengali food which is always a good thing. However, you have not seen as much food on such an amazing scale as on Eid. If you think your house goes a little crazy over Christmas, Easter, Hanukkah, whenever, you have seen nothing. There are literally piles of food of all different colours! It is quite amazing!

However, like pretty much any festival, there is always much hype leading up to the day than the actual day itself. When we return to school and ask how each person’s Eid was they each say that it was boring or mediocre and life returns to planning for the next celebration.

I hope I have given an interesting insight to the festival of Eid and you all enjoyed it, because dear reader, that is what I strive to do!

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