Eid al Fitr or Eid e Ramazan as it is called in Afghanistan is the end of the month of fasting. During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sunrise to sun down. They are encouraged to participate in pious activities such as charitable giving and peace-making. Ramadan is most difficult on summer days when the daylight hours are long.
What I love about Ramadan is that it is time for introspection and spiritual renewal for those who observe it.
To celebrate, at the end of Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world observe a three-day celebration which in some places is called Festival of Fast-Breaking. I tell my non-Muslim friends that it is Christmas for Muslims.
When we lived in Afghanistan, Jeja (my mom) prepared for Eid holiday by purchasing sweets, cleaning the house and having new clothes made for us. The immigrant life has made Eid celebration less festive but, Jeja still makes a feast on the first day of Eid.
Prior to the first day of Eid, Muslims give alms to less fortunate families so they too can celebrate the holiday with their families. The alms consist of practical things such as, money, rice, sugar, oil, dates, rice, etc.
Most Muslims attend Eid prayers at their local mosque but after the prayer, they visit family and friends, give gifts (especially to children), and they practice forgiveness by mending broken friendship.
Before the wars, before my family members became scattered around world, and before the world looked at Muslims suspiciously, my family celebrated Eid by spending the first day at my grandfather's house. We played with our cousins, ate sweets and received Eidi (money gifts) from our relatives. At the end of the day we measured our money pile to see who got the most Eidi.
In Muslim countries the entire 3-day period is an official holiday. I wish you and your family "Eid Mubarak" and wonderful celebration. I am with Jeja who now lives in Los Angeles. We are heading to my aunt's for an Eid celbration.
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