Today marks the end of the holy and blessed month of Ramadan. Twenty nine days of fasting come to such a beautiful end. A new beginning with the new moon which calls for celebrations and conviviality . While the primary notions remain just the same, let’s have a look in what different ways, Eid is celebrated in Pakistan and across the world.
Food is perhaps the best expression of happiness people chose to showcase on festivals and occasion. And especially for a nation like ours, so inherently in love with food, how could there not be any specialties on the largest religious festival celebrated across the country.
This trademark dessert marks the hallmark of Eid and surely gives one a good reason for sweet tooth. Fried vermicelli loaded with sheera, sweetened milk and dry fruits makes the perfect start of the beautiful day. Although there are several ways of making siwayyan, some of the best known siwayyan are: Qiwami Siwayyan and Sheer Khurma (siwayyan served together with milk and dry fruits).
Wafts of aroma of Indian spices used in Biryani are a household staple when it comes to any special occasion in Pakistani household, and of course Eid. With so much innovation when it comes to food and introduction of international cuisines, thanks to TV channels dedicated to it, there’s no way Biryani doesn’t make it to the Eid lunch or dinner. With great many variation with different regions, the most varieties are Bombay Biryani, Sindhi Biryani and Kachhay Gosht ki Biryani. And who could resist the aroma of boiled basmati rice folded in layers of meat and spices!
Mid eastern delights of cookies centered with dates are essential around Eid. Days before it , women sit in groups to make these special cookies for Eid. They may be flat discs or in form of ball that crack out to open dates as soon as one makes through the crunchy exterior.
One could call them rice dumplings too. A surely unique way invented for preparing rice packed in woven palm leaf pouch by Malaysians, Indonesians and Philippines. Rice grains filled in palm leaves are then boiled, so they expand and get compressed against the leaf that gives these rice their exclusive texture.This is then served with lamb, beef or chicken Satay. A Malay household staple for Eid!
A Jordanian centerpiece for Eid is also the national dish. Topped with rice and garnishes is the lamb cooked in Jameed (fermented yoghurt) and broth, and a layer of flat bread.
Earlier limited to western countries, now gifting Eid cakes is a growing trend in subcontinent as well. Close to Eid, pastry chefs and bakeries are headlong plunged in preparing dye-cut cakes decorated with Eid greetings, which now makes a new dessert on Eid tables.
Interestingly, there is a list of traditions particular to Eid. Let’s have a look at them!
Visiting Family and Friends:
Even accredited loners and those who chose to stay reclused during the whole year make sure to go out and meet their relatives and friends on Eid. Family gatherings and parties are arranged especially on the occasion, stealing it as a chance to leave behind grievances and celebrate this day with religious and social festivity.
Right after Eid prayers, people ritualistically embrace each other 3-4 times in a go to wish Eid Mubarak to each other. Brings smile to face, doesn’t it?
White Shalwar Qameez For Men:
Those who don’t like wearing anything other than bright colors the entire year, clad themselves in white kurta and shalwar on Eid day (white perceived as the color of purity). And this is something that’s perhaps never going to change in our culture.
Eidi or Ediyah (as known in some Arab countries) makes the best part of Eid, at least for kids. Whereas, in the earlier days, it used to be restricted to small like Rs 50 to Rs. 500, token amounts, is now a raised to hefty sums of Rs. 5000 onwards. And so what, it’s one day, no one denies kids no matter how much they ask for.
Henna or Mehendi:
I suppose we all have grown up messing up our hands while applying mehendi overnight before Eid. One can see scores of women and children heading out to apply mehendi from mehendi experts and parlors. Earlier, henna leaves were crushed and applied on hands for color. Now intricate and choicest of designs are available to apply mehendi in different colors.
Trademark of Eid and many other celebrations for women across the subcontinent. Buying choris is a chand raat specialty, when hoards of women are seen standing in front of chori stalls and waiting for their turn to try the colorful choris of their size. Perhaps a staple sight of Chand raat common to all classes.
Eid Greetings in Different Languages:
Feels great how Eid is celebrated across the world by people of different languages and races. However, Eid greetings come out as sweet in any language as they do in ours. Here are some of them:
Eid Mubarak in Malay – Hari Raya Aidilfitri
Eid Mubarak in Dutch – Suikerfeest (“Sugar Feast”)
Eid Mubarak in Spanish – Fiesta de la ruptura del ayuno -
Eid Mubarak in German – Fest des Fastenbrechens (“Feast of Breaking the Fast”)
Eid Mubarak in Turkish – Ramazan Bayramı
Eid Mubarak in Bengali – Rojar Id