The end of Ramadan commences with the spotting of the new crescent moon and Eid Al Fitr begins. Immediately on the official sighting of the new moon, Muslims in Saudi and elsewhere will greet each with large smiles and “Eid Mubarak or Happy Eid.” One will receive text messages with the same greeting over the three days of Eid.
At the announcement of Eid, the monthly fasting of Ramadan is finished. For most in Saudi Arabia, Eid morning begins with entire families going to their local mosque for special Eid prayers. Naturally men and women are separated at the mosque. Both men and women are dressed in their special Eid clothes. This is when the Saudi men of all ages, even under one year, will wear their bischt when they go to the mosque and to visit others. Within my Saudi family, on return from Eid prayers, we would sit as a family and enjoy a large and traditional Saudi breakfast. After the meal was completed, gifts (monies) would be given to the children in the family. Everyone would be in their best clothes and we’d take pictures to capture the memory of the day.
Eid and the following two days are days of celebrations, gladness and visiting. Additionally, children are typically given gifts and candies and monies on Eid day. Saudi generosity is evident in many ways during Eid. Special meals are prepared and no one goes out empty headed. It is traditional to bring sweets, chocolates or flowers when visiting during Eid.
Most Saudi homes expect a flow of visitors through the Eid holiday. Invitations are not necessary. Most visitors will stay a short period as they will likely go on to other homes too.
On one hand many will be relieved that the days of fasting are over but at the same time as I start to readjust back to the “old routine” I would find myself missing the days of Ramadan and anticipation which leads up to Eid Al Fitr.
Until the cycle begins again, Muslims the world over continue to practice and live their faith and remember their beloved Prophet. PBUH.
For those readers who are Muslim, please share where you are from and how your family observes Eid Al Fitr.
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