Throughout Ramadan 2019, we published a whole series of #RamadanAroundTheWorld
articles to showcase the beauty and diversity of Muslim communities worldwide. Though we may be countries apart, it's a beautiful experience to learn about and witness how different Muslim communities spend the holy month getting closer to God, working on their ibadah
, and renewing bonds with their families and loved ones. ?
Now that Eid is finally here, we've collected our contributors' anecdotes on how they celebrate #EidAroundTheWorld
too! Seeing the festivities worldwide is a timely reminder that though we may have different customs, cultures, and traditions, there is a unity in coming together to celebrate this amazing festival. Eid Mubarak everyone!
Cape Town, South Africa (Hashim)Credit: @raanah01 on Instagram
Eid's our biggest celebration, filled with so much love, joy, and food! In South Africa, it’s spent with family, friends and loved ones. I especially miss it since I haven’t had the opportunity to spend it with my niece and nephew. We are a close family of over 50 cousins so I miss them. For years I have had the same Eid routine and it remained mostly unchanged. It starts with waking up, getting ready, putting on my Salah top and walking to the mosque. The atmosphere in the mosque is of sheer happiness and joy. After we are done performing Salah I come out and greet my father, family, and friends. I walk home with cousins to greet our grandmother. This is done before I even get home for morning Eid milk (also known as sheer khurma). My mum makes this every Eid and it is the one smell that lets me know it’s Eid morning!Credit: @raanah01 on Instagram
After this, we head out to greet at homes where someone has passed on (we call these 1st Eids) and to greet our older relatives. Which of course takes up most of the morning, and leads to my favourite meal of the year, Eid lunch! We normally have the Eid lunch at a different family members house each year but we all bring our part to the meal! Roast chicken, vegetables, desserts, and the must-have curry and rice. It’s really an afternoon spent with family bonding and catching up. The male cousins have a post-Eid lunch tradition of playing cricket and as old as we are now, we still try to do it. The evenings are for friends, coffee dates and good old catch ups. I really miss Eid at home! It’s been going on 8 years now and it gets me every year.
[Our writer Hashim is a South African expatriate who now lives in Seoul - click here for his full story and find out how different it is celebrating Ramadan in these 2 countries!]
Dubai, United Arab Emirates (Ruqaya)Credit: The Shekih Mohammad Centre For Cultural Understanding on Facebook
In the Emirates, Eid is a morning celebration! For us, many people start preparing few days before Eid itself, where they would go shopping for the fulala
which is a mix of desserts, fruits, nuts and of course tea and gahwa
(Arabic coffee). The house is cleaned and prepped for Eid. On the morning of the first day of Eid, the family would start getting ready for Eid Prayer and would head out together for it, many people would bring candy with them to give children after the Eid Prayer. After the prayer, many families would back home to have a family breakfast and after that, they would start their Eid by visiting their relatives’ close ones and far. For children, Eid is about the Eidia, which is the money gift they get from adults. For everyone else though, it’s about visiting family and celebrating the Eid with them. As well the fact it’s a 3 days holiday, helps people indulge in family time and relaxation!
[Read more about how Ramadan and Eid are celebrated in Dubai here!]
London, England (Nur Arisa)
A typical day will start early in the morning, getting ready and dressed for Eid, followed by a trip to the mosque for prayers with the family. As there are so many people wanting to pray at the mosque, most have to hold three, four or sometimes five Eid prayers consecutively in order so that everyone is able to pray their Eid prayers. Once prayers are finished, there are usually lots of Eid greetings, and then time spent leisurely in the mosque. There will often be food and markets stalls at the mosque for people to eat and buy things if needed.
Credit: @nurarisamaryam on Instagram
Closer to lunchtime, our family will all go to one family member’s house for food and celebrations, where we eat, relax, listen to nasheeds
, give presents and enjoy the day. The older members of the family will usually do the cooking and catch-up with each other while the youngsters play. It’s a lovely family day. Last year, I went to Europe’s largest Eid prayer in Birmingham, UK. This year I will pray at my favourite mosque in London and have an Eid party with friends. I also would like to visit the Eid festival in central London. InshaAllah
[Read more about how Japanese revert Arisa spends her Ramadan and Eid in London here!]
Marawi City, the Philippines (Hafsa)
A festival is coming! All the family members, living from different cities, usually come home and cramp in inside grandma’s house for the Eid al-Fitr. The women of my family are the busiest preparing food for the Eid. The dining tables become full; it’s a feast for everyone after all. Every household will try to make the best of their speciality. The menu options differ in every culture. In my family, there’s always yellow rice, beef rendang
noodles, local desserts (browa
) and other classic Filipino-style food like biko
(sweet rice cake), maja blanca
, spaghetti and chicken.
In the early morning at 5am, the children are in charge of giving the zakat away. They knock homes and give out the customary donation to the poor and disadvantaged along with a bowl of special sulabay (a dessert soup made of coconut milk, banana, sweet potato, glutinous rice balls and other additional special ingredients). At around 7am, we’d be at the masjid or in an open area (a field or stadium) which can hold a great number of people and start the Eid prayer. After the praying, we go for house-to-house visits, and “mririlae tano
(let’s forgive one another)” comes as greetings as we exchange kisses with the aunties and salaams to other family and friends. We’d have quick catch-up on our lives and have some food. It’s a joyful time. We’d visit as many relatives as we can, other times we act as the host and people visit us in our home. By the end of the day, we’d come home full at tummy and at heart. With all the celebration and happiness going, we do not forget that we continue our spiritual training during the month of Ramadan, to be steadfast with our journey of increasing our faith and becoming better Muslims for the sake of Allah.
[P.S. Read more about how our Filippino writer Hafsa's family keeps their faith strong during Ramadan here!]
Montreal, Canada (Rebecca)
[Celebrating Eid is] so different depending on where you live (it’s a huge country!) and what your family is like. For us, we don’t have much family around, and most of our family is not Muslim, so we usually celebrate in a small way. Last year we went to the [restaurant] Cafe Floraison – they have special iftars every night, but also a big Eid brunch with wonderful food and entertainment. This year we will go to the mosque for Eid prayer and then attend brunch. Then, likely, we will spend the rest of the day together at the park, just enjoying ‘family time.’ Because my son is 2 now, we may get him a gift to mark the occasion, but my husband and I don’t exchange gifts.
In other communities, there are huge Eid festivals. Many people here have large families and do parties and gatherings. Canada is filled with a very diverse population of Muslims, who bring some traditions from their home countries and blend them into Canadian life. In all honesty, Eid can be difficult as a convert because I am navigating new territory. Growing up without this holiday means I don’t have traditions – I have to make my own. However, it gives my husband and me the opportunity to choose exactly how we want our little family to celebrate.
[Read more about Rebecca's experience with reverting to Islam, celebrating Ramadan, and being a mother of two here!]
New York City, United States of America (Amina)
Eid in NYC is grand and I mean really grand. We go all out for Eid, from decorating the house to doing fireworks in the backyard; it’s a spectacular occasion. My husband puts up an “Eid Mubarak” banner on our front door with beautiful lights and even our non-Muslim neighbours love them. A typical Eid day goes like this: wake up for Fajr then shower and get ready for the huge Eid Prayer in the open field in Queens. After the prayer, we go to like twenty different houses and eat delicious food. I and my husband put a lot of effort every Eid on Eid gifts for family members and we custom make Eid envelopes and give them out to all the kids in the family. The kids love that $10 for ice cream.
After visiting all the close family members, we try to make some time for friends and we go home around late afternoon as the tradition is that everyone comes to our place at night. I help my mother in law set up all the delicious food she cooks before Eid day and it’s an open house from that point on. I am 100% sure we have had more than 100 guests on past Eids and it’s just so wonderful. Everyone enjoys the food and the kids love playing in the backyard and my father in law always ends the night by doing fireworks for all the kids.
[Read all about how Amina celebrates her Bangladeshi heritage in New York City here!]
Paris, France (Shirin)
On my first Eid here, I held a party at my place for my friends. I also went to a picnic organised by a group of English-speaking Muslim women in Paris (of which there are many Singaporeans, actually), who had found one another through a Facebook group, and their families. Unfortunately, I didn’t celebrate my second Eid here because I left the office at 4am and worked through that weekend! Work is better this year so I’m hoping to have another party at my place – for Muslim and non-Muslim friends alike ?
[Shirin is a Singaporean Muslim who's been living in Paris for 3 years - read more about what it's like to celebrate Ramadan in the city of lights here!]
Rabat, Morocco (Sara)
Usually, Eid prayers are around 8am, so we wake up early, dress in newly bought clothes and head to the nearest mosque while doing adkar
(dhikr) on the road. The Eid prayer consists of prayer and Khutba, the Imam’s recital – it’s usually about the importance of what we’ve accomplished during the month, and a reminder to keep doing the good deeds after it’s over, and to enjoy the day with family and with good intentions. After prayers, we visit family, friends, share food, and just enjoy the day.
[Our reader Sara lives in Rabat, the capital of Morocco - click here to learn more about how she spends and celebrates Ramadan!]
Singapore (Nur Azlina)
My parents visited during Hari Raya a few years ago and we visited many houses of our relatives. They were impressed that there were so many things to eat at each house and that we went visiting until midnight. They were also surprised that there were so many relatives. During Hari Raya, the Japanese Muslim sisters will usually have a gathering. We will each bring a Japanese-style potluck dish, so it’s something we really enjoy!
[For the Singapore feature, we actually interviewed 3 Japanese reverts who live in Singapore with their families! Click here to read all 3 of their experiences celebrating Ramadan and Eid!]
Tangier, Morocco (Carin)
If we are still in Tangier, which we normally are, we have breakfast before we head to the mosque for Eid prayer. Then if the rest of our family aren’t travelling we’d go and see them and have lunch together. After that, we continue to visit other family members. Or we might travel to them, then we will have lunch together. But if they are travelling, we have an Eid lunch together on our own, either at home, or we bring something from home and head out because we love to be outdoors ?
[Carin is a Swedish revert who now lives in Morocco with her family. Click to read all about her Ramadan experience!]
Tokyo, Japan (Meryem)Credit: @tokyocamii on Instagram
We travel to the mosque for Eid! In Tokyo Camii, it gets really crowded and the women have to pray at the first floor instead of in the main prayer hall, but it’s always a bustling affair seeing so many people from every country imaginable in their colourful Eid outfits, I love the atmosphere!
[Meryem is a Singaporean Chinese revert who moved to Tokyo with her husband. Click to read her full article about how Eid is celebrated in this Japanese city!]
No matter where you are in the world, there's something so special about Eid that unites us across cultures ? The HHWT team hopes that you've enjoyed these stories of #RamadanAroundTheWorld
and #EidAroundTheWorld over the past month!
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