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EID MUBARAK! A Day in Many Lives...

By Myra Ahmed, Mawra Batool, Humera Ali, Sabila Siddiqui and Laiba Shakeel

Eid Al-Adha, the festival of sacrifice, is a day of celebration for Muslims across the world. Families gather and spend time together, savouring traditional delicacies and listening to old tales passed down through generations of love, hardship and perseverance. While this Eid is different, it surely has provided us with a new perspective on Eid and the things we so easily take for granted. To celebrate, Land of the Pure rounded up community members living across the world and brought them together for a collaborative day in the life piece - read on to discover Pakistan's Eid celebration!

Rise and Shine - Mawra Batool

As the sun rises on the morning of Eid-ul-Adha, the sound of the Fajr Azaan fills my ears. This is when my Eid, as a Pakistani living in the diverse city of Dubai, starts. I wake up at approximately 5:30 a.m. on Eid day and perform the Fajr prayer with my mom and sister. Later, at 10 a.m., my family and I wake up, ready to start the day and prepare some food. I usually handle the deserts whereas my mom focuses on the main courses. The food ranges from Nihari to Biryani and many more delicacies. I make a traditional Pakistani dessert called ‘Sheer Khurma’. The dish is vermicelli pudding made with milk, dates, lots of nuts,and sugar and is one of the most common desserts made in Pakistan on Eid. Once the food is ready, we shower and wear our best clothes and adorn ourselves with perfume and head to pray the Eid prayer. Men and women flock to the Masjid, and there is a unique bustle. At the Masjid, once people are done praying, they exchange well wishes with each other and sometimes hand out gifts and sweets too! Then we either go to a friend's house or wait for guests to show up at ours – there is a real ‘open day’ atmosphere around!

Post-Dhuhr Happenings - Humera Ali

After a huge load of work in the kitchen and the Dhuhr prayer, our family starts on its Eid gift-giving tradition. Usually, I gift everyone vouchers to save me the stress of choosing things, but this year, I plan on giving everyone personalised gift boxes with small things that I thought they would like (this of course, had to include sweets!) Following this, family members are all gathered at one house, and everyone exchanges well wishes, the kids running about up and down and conversations buzzing everywhere. The rest of the afternoon can be one of two things: an afternoon slump, or chaos! We chose the latter, planning an afternoon picnic to capitalise on the sunny London weather. The confusion and panic is what makes Eid such a fun and special festival that brings the entire family together, close or far!

The Iconic Afternoon Visit - Sabila Siddiqui

As the bell rings across the hallway, I hear the screams of my cousins across the door while I hurry to do the final touches to my makeup. I slip into my heels, ready the camera for the photography that we’re going to take in our embezzled clothes. We sit there comparing the colors of our henna, the house bustling with talk of business, or loud, endless news shows. The sawayan, haleem, biryani and mithai waft through the air, bringing us all to our favourite place: the dastarkhwaan. Pictures, chats, and maybe even the occasional nap takes us through the evening, and off we head to dinner, at Laiba's!

(Sabila made this amazing graphic highlighting Eid in quarantine! You can check out more of her work on Instagram at @beautiful_sensitive_soul)

Dazzling Dinners - Laiba Shakeel

After a tiring qurbani and visits across town, it is time for the real fun. Food and family are the stimulus for conversation, and if you've ever been at a Pakistani dinner, you know how well that goes! The most commonly eaten food on the first day of eid are Kaleji and Tikka, along with salad, chutneys and different drinks. Often, people make a fresh lassi, a yogurt drink either spiced or sweetened with natural flavours. We also decorate the house with fairy lights, balloons and flowers to create a festive, fun atmosphere!

While this Eid is unlike any other, it is important that we continue to appreciate the festival and its significance. Whether that be with long, family video calls or watching TV shows huddled on the couch, this Eid has helped us realise that whatever makes us happy is the best choice! From the entire team of LOTP, Eid Mubarak!

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