I’ve never met a religious holiday I didn't like. I'm not partial either: it doesn't have to be my own tradition. I’ve been angling for a Passover invitation from one of my Jewish friends for years, to no avail. And so a few years ago when Humaira kindly invited me and my family to her Eid celebration, there was no hesitation.
Muslim traditions were unfamiliar to me, and truth be told, the only thing I knew for certain about Eid was that I would be eating well. I quickly learned that Eid (pronounced Eed) is in fact a cherished holiday steeped with meaning from which all of us, no matter what our background, can be inspired.
Humaira's family thinks of the holiday as one of renewal and celebration: Making amends, righting past wrongs, forgiveness and feasting with loved ones. Afghans open their homes all day and into the night to family and friends who come, unannounced, for a little hospitality and company.
A few years ago, I felt privileged to sit in Humaira’s mother’s living room, nibbling from the plates of assorted goodies (candied almonds, dried fruits, fresh grapes, cookies and spicy chick peas) arranged on the coffee table, as a slow parade of great aunties, distant cousins, neighbors and friends stopped by to drink hot, cardamom-scented tea and reconnect. Afghans old and young sat together, some wearing head scarves and speaking Farsi, others in Western-style clothing speaking English. This was followed by a bountiful spread of Afghan dishes, dessert, and more tea.
Monday was the first day of Eid. Perhaps we can all brew up a pot of cardamom tea to share with someone and think about renewal in our own lives. Just a thought.
Bring 2 1/2 cups of water to a boil and pour into your teapot. Steep 1 1/2 tbsp. loose black or green tea along with 1/4 tsp. ground cardamom in the water for several minutes until good and strong. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into two teacups. Add 1 tsp. of sugar to each cup, if you like it sweet.
Except where otherwise noted, all content on this blog is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported license.