Eid-Ul-Fitr which will be celebrated this weekend all over the world marks the gratifying end of month long diligent fasting from dawn to dusk during the month of Ramadaan for all our Muslim friends. Actual dates of Eid and its 3-day festivities are based on moon sightings but as per the Gregorian calendar, it falls about 11 days earlier each successive year, giving fresh dates for celebration quite literally. These dates also regulate the pilgrimage cycle at Mecca known as "Hajj" and "Umrah".
Cresent moon sighting
The festivities begin the night before Eid when the sublime thin crescent moon is spotted in the evening sky labeling the gleeful evening "Chandraat". Women and girls decorate their palms with henna and start preparing for a blissful breakfast feast made with milk, dates and dry fruits as tradition calls.There are joyous crowds of families as they shop at late night bazaars buying clothes and gifts for their loved ones. Excited children begin the countdown to getting cash and gifts from their elders in celebration of Eid which is also referred to as "Eiddie", traditionally all elders are required to treat their younger relatives with treats or pocket money.
The day begins with new clothes, fragrant perfume and a sweet breakfast of vermicelli called "Sheer khurma" which is a Persian word that literally means made with milk, dates and dry fruits. Then it is time to offer communal prayers referred to as "Eid al-Fitr Salat" to celebrate the end of the fasting. Sharing gifts of food and clothes with those less fortunate and donating 2.5% of family income to charity are mandatory practices for all Muslims which is known as "Zakat".
Early morning Eid Namaz " Eid al-Fitr Salat"
The next 3 days are spent meeting and greeting friends and family and sharing delicious food and gifts with all. Ramadaan is a pious month focused on strengthening the Muslims' bond with Allah and seeking his forgiveness and benevolence for the coming year.
Below is the recipe for a simple vegetable Biryani created by Nupur Arora of Team Shokunin. Although Biryani is usually cooked with chicken, mutton or beef on Eid, she decided vegetable biryani would be an interesting route to get everyone involved in this exciting festival. Eid Mubarak everyone, let's get the feast started!