Eid

Introduction

Eid is a Muslim religious festival whish is celebrated twice a year in Punjab but some Muslims also celebrate Eid at the start of the Islamic  new year. There are two main Eid’s, one is Eid ul-Fitr, which marks the end of the holy month of fasting called Ramzaan or Ramadan, and the other is Eid ul-Adha or ‘Greater Eid’.

DSEid

Eid ul-Fitr takes place in the first week of September and marks the end of a month of fasting called Ramzaan. People who follow the Islamic faith will fast every day during Ramzaan from sunrise to sunset. Each day usually starts around 4am with a prayer and morning meal – this time is called Sehri. They will then not eat or drink anything till sunset, this is usually around 7-8pm. Fasting is intended to teach Muslims about patience, humility and spirituality. At sunset families gather to say prayer before eating a communal meal, this time is called Iftar. Some devout Muslims will enter ‘Eid Caf’ for the month of Ramzaan, this is where they meditate and pray in almost complete isolation from the outside world. It is during the month of Ramzaan that Muslims believe the Quran (Islamic holy book) was delivered to the Prophet Muhammad.

After the last day of Razaan is Eid day, there is no fasting on Eid day and most of the day will be spent in preparation for the evening’s festivities. It’s a time when families gather to celebrate this festival adorned in their new Eid clothes, they enjoy a feast together and exchange gifts. Many Punjabis from different faiths will celebrate Eid and also partake in the holy month of Ramzaan by fasting alongside their Muslim friends. This demonstrates a strong sense of community and racial harmony amongst the Punjabi People.

Eid ul-Adha takes place around 70 days after Eid ul-Fitr and marks the end of Hajj. This is the annual holy pilgrimage around the ‘Hana Kaba Sherif’ in Mecca. This Eid last three sometimes four days and it is usual for wealthier families to sacrifice livestock like goats while saying Hatham (prayers). This meat would then be distributed three ways; one share remains with the family, another share goes to the relatives and neighbours and the final share is usually donated to the local Mosque and then distributed amongst the poor. It is also Sunath (desirable) to give Zakath, this is a percentage of your wealth as charity to the poor.

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