By Myra Ahmed
After a month of tolerance, gratitude and prayer, Eid is the celebration marking the end of Ramadan. It is a time of togetherness, joy and compassion and across the three days of Eid, different festivities and traditions take place. Pakistan's celebration of Eid, like other countries, is distinct and so, we will be taking our readers on a journey through Eid in Pakistan!
Eid-ul-Fitr, meaning the 'festival of breaking the fast', marks the end of the Holy Month of fasting. Muslims across the world spend the day with family, friends and usually a lot of food. In Pakistan, it is common for people to spend the night before, known as 'Chaand Raat', out and about - mehndi, bangles and fireworks are everywhere! It is quite literally a spectacle of colours. People also prepare for lunch the next day, which is usually an elaborate feast - biryani, kebab, mithai!
The next morning starts early, as people head to mosques for Eid prayers. In Pakistan, the entire family greet each other 'Eid mubarak' before heading for Namaz, after which, a feast is set. The spirit of Eid is rooted in chitter chatter that surrounds the dining table, the Ludo games that all the children gather and play, the sweet smell of creamy chai and the sheer warmth and comfort that family brings. Many Pakistanis buy new clothes, food and other items for the less fortunate to keep the spirit of Ramadan alive.
Overseas Pakistanis have often expressed how much they miss Pakistan at festivals like these - craving the aura that only family and home can bring. When living abroad, families often try to recreate the Pakistani vibe with colourful banners, fairy lights (we LOVE lights!) and parties with families and friends. It is an absolute necessity that all family members abroad are video called on Eid!
While this year, Eid will be celebrated differently, it is important that we keep our spirits high and appreciate that things will get better. We must continue to respect lockdowns and all other regulations to help support those working on the frontlines and eradicate this issue quickly. Eid is Eid - a celebration, and we wish you the best, most enjoyable Eid ever, regardless of circumstances!