Here in the United States, the way eid is celebrated varies greatly. We have many nationalities and communities of Muslims. In the communities populated mostly by Pakistani/Indian Muslims you will see Eid celebrated with many of the traditional foods and customs of Pakistan and India. Likewise if you go to a community with predominatley Arabs you will see more of the Arab culture and cuisine. If you live n a largely populated Islamic community you are likely to find grand celebrations. Entire stadiums may be rented out to hold the eid prayer and street fairs and festivals may be held. However, if you live in a small community you may have the prayer and potluck style dinner at the local masjid or you may not even see any celebration at all (depending on the size of the community).
I love large diverse Muslim communities. You get the best of everything. You have Indian, Pakistan, Arab, Indonesian, Malaysian, African, and yes even American food and amusements. It’s all woven together. When I see these types of communities, It makes me feel proud to be a Muslim. It reminds me of all the different colors and cultures that make up the Ummah. Yet, we are all together as brothers and sisters united for a common goal (ie. to be the best Muslims we can be and eventually enter Jannah together, insh’Allah).
Honestly, I love learning about other cultures. So, I thought it would be interesting to do a post on how eid is celebrated in other countries. Most of this info is from either wikipedia or people I know.
Eid in Cairo,Egypt
Eid in Ghana
Eid in Indonesia
Eid in Bangladesh
Eid in Morocco
Eid in London:
Eid in Portland, OR USA
Eid in Madrid, Spain
Eid in Abu Dhabi, UAE
Eid in Bejing, China
Eid in Mecca
Eid Music Videos (contain music):
In Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei Eid is often referred to as as Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa. Hari Raya is translated as “Grand Day”. Eid is the biggest holiday in Malaysia, and is the most awaited one. Shopping malls and bazaars are filled with people days ahead of Hari Raya, causing a distinctive festive atmosphere throughout the country. Many banks, government and private offices are closed for this holiday, which usually lasts a week.
Most people return to their home towns to celebrate eid. In many of the communites people hang oil lamps. Also, the takbir can be heard in the musallas and masjids. Many Malaysians wear the traditional Malay clothing for eid. The men’s clothing is called baju malayu and the women’s is baju kurung of baju kebaya. Many popular dishes are served on Eid such as ketupat, dodol, and lemang (rice cake cooked in bamboo).
After the Eid prayer many Malaysians visit graves, clean them, and recite surat yaseen. It is also customary to offer apologies to anyone they may have wronged. Most of the holiday is spent visiting friends and family. Children are often given money or other tokens on eid. To read more about Eid in Singapore visit Adik’s blog:
Indonesia shares many of the traditions of Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei. The holiday is likewise referred to as Hari Raya Idul Fitri or lebaran (holiday). It is also recognized as a national holiday. So, schools and institutions close. It is also customary in Indonesian culture to offer apologies on the Day of Eid. . Many Indonesian muslims acknowledge that on the day of Eid when they forgive each other, their sins with each other are cleansed and they are without sin just as they were at birth.
At the night of the last day of Ramadan, Indonesians usually do ‘Takbiran’. Takbiran is a big celebration where people, from little children to old men, recite the takbir with a microphone in a parade. They travel around the town and usually they hit ‘beduk’, a large drum, as a background music of the takbir.
In South Asia (Bangladesh, India, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka):
At the end of the Holy month of Ramadan, in which the Muslims are asked to observe fasting from dawn to dusk and do extra prayers and observe religious values rigidly, the Muslims celebrate the sighting of the new moon (start of the new Muslim month). In Bangladesh,India and Pakistan, the night before Eid is called Chand Raat, or night of the moon. People visits bazaars and shopping malls, with their families and children, for last momemts Eid shopping. Women, especially young girls, often paint each others’ hands with traditional “henna” and wear colourful bangles.
The popular way of greeting in Bangladesh, India & Pakistan during celebration of this festival is to say Eid Mubarak to others.Children are encouraged to meet and greet the elders. In exchange of this they also expect to obtain some cash money, called Eidi, from the elders.
On the morning of Eid ul-Fitr, after taking a fresh bath, every Muslim is encouraged to wear new clothes, if they can afford so. Alternatively, they may wear clean washed clothes.Men and boys go to mosque or open fields called Eidgah for special Eid prayers, thanking God for enabling a Muslim to observe the holy month meaningfully. The Muslims are ordained to pay Zakat al-Fitr (special charity money) or fitra to the poor and needy before the Eid prayer, so that they can also join others to celebrate the Eid.
After the prayers, the congregation is dispersed and the Muslims meet and greet each other including family members, children, elders, friends and neighbours.
Some Muslims especially go to graveyards to pray for the salvation of the departed soul. Usually, children visit elder relatives and neighbours to pay respects and greetings.
After meeting the friends and relatives, many people go for attending parties, feasts, special carnivals and festivities in the parks (with picnics, fireworks, etc.). In Bangladesh and Pakistan, many bazaars, malls, and restaurants witness huge crowd & high attendance during this principal muslim festival.
Some people also avail this opportunity to distribute Zakat, the obligatory tax on ones wealth, to the needy.
In this way, the Muslims of South Asia celebrate their Eid ul-Fitr in festive mood by thanking the Almighty and bringing their families, friends and the poor and needy people closer in a praiseworthy eagalitarian manner. (From: Wikipedia)
In morning of the Eid, a huge population go for Eid prayer, and after that every body go to his relatives home for eid visiting.
All Iranians even in other countries call each other to say happy eid.
People wear their beautiful clothes and there are many gathering and programs and ceremonies.
TV has spc programs and all lights are on in the streets.. (from Sharazad)
To read more about Eid in Iran, visit Sharazad’s post: http://shahrzaad.wordpress.com/2007/10/13/women-and-eid-prayer-tehran-iran/
Called Eyde Fetr by most Iranians, charity is important on that day. Typically, each Muslim family gives food to those in need. Often meat or ghorbani (literally translated as sacrifice, for it is usually a young lamb or calf that is sacrificed for the occasion), which is an expensive food item in Iran, will be given by those in wealthier families to those who have less. Payment of fitra or fetriye is obligatory for each Muslim. (From: Wikipedia)
In Turkey, where Ramadan is infused with more national traditions (and where country-wide celebrations, religious and secular alike, are altogether referred to as Bayram), it is customary for people to greet one another with “Bayramınız Mübarek Olsun” (same as “Eid mubarak”), “Bayramınız Kutlu Olsun” (kutlu is calque for mubarak). It is a time for people to attend services, put on their best clothes (referred to as “Bayramlık”, often purchased just for the occasion) and to visit all their loved ones (such as friends, relatives and neighbors) and pay their respects to the deceased with organized visits to cemeteries, where large, temporary bazaars of flowers, water (for watering the plants adorning a grave), and prayer books are set up for the three-day occasion. Municipalities all around the country organize public shows such as concerts or more traditional forms of entertainment such as the Karagöz and Hacivat shadow-theatre or performences by the Mehter, the Janissary Band that was founded during the days of the Ottoman Empire as well as fundraising events for the poor. It is regarded as especially important to honor elderly citizens by kissing their right hand and placing it on one’s forehead while wishing them Bayram greetings. It is also customary for children to go around the neighborhood, door to door, and wish everyone a happy “Bayram”, for which they are awarded candy, chocolates, traditional sweets such as Baklava and Lokum (Turkish delight), or a small amount of money at every door, almost in a Halloween-like fashion. Helping the poor, ending past animosities and making up, organizing breakfasts and dinners for loved ones and putting together neighborhood celebrations are all part of the joyous occasion, where streets are generally decorated and lit up for the celebrations, and television and radio channels broadcast special Bayram programs (from: Wikipedia)
In Egypt, Eid El Fitr is a 3 day feast in which people have an official holiday in Egypt. Muslims start the celebrations by going to the mosques to perform a special prayer call the Feast holiday after sunrise where men women and children listen to a religious speech in which Imam usually reminds Muslims of the virtues and good deeds they should do to friends, relatives, neighbors and even strangers during Eid el Fetr and throughout the year.
After the prayers Egyptians usually visit families and offer sweets made specially for this occasion called the feast sweets or Kahk. Bisuits are also made in multiple flavors either at home or at candy shops which consider this occasion a profitable one because although most people used to bake Kahk themselves, nowadays many Egyptians buy the sweets from shops.
Family visits are considered a must on the first day of the Eid so they have the rest of days to enjoy by going to parks, cinemas, theatres or the beaches. Some like to go on tours or Nile cruise. Sharm El Sheikh is considered a favorite spot for spending holidays is Egypt.
Eid El Fitr is indeed a time for celebration but it is also a time for sharing as there is a special charity in the Eid called the “Sadaka” or the Eid el Fitr Charity which is paid by every Muslim before the end of Ramadan and given to the poor to be able to buy new clothes and kahk during the feast.
In Egypt People like to celebrate with others so apart from the crowded streets you are likely to have fun if you spend your holiday during Eid el Fitrs in Egypt.
In Saudi Arabia:
RIYADH/JEDDAH, 5 November 2005 — Spectacular fireworks, captivating folklore dances, orchestras led by well-known singers and other recreational programs marked Eid festivities across Saudi Arabia yesterday.
Authorities in Makkah, Madinah, Riyadh, Jeddah, Dammam, Abha and other cities have lined up a variety of entertainment programs throughout the Eid Al-Fitr holidays.
In Riyadh, firework displays illuminated the city’s skyline in rainbow colors, while many people went to dance and sing on the rhythm of folk bands. Prince Sattam, deputy governor of Riyadh region, also took part in a sword dance with a troupe of young men and children.
The highlight of the celebrations were the fireworks, which turned the whole city into a wonderland of light and color. It produced a fantastic variety of enormous glittering patterns in the night sky. Up to 150 were loosed off at one time. Commonly used fireworks especially huge fountains, aerial bomb-bursts, sparklers and cones produced spectacular visual effects, much to the joy of the crowds.
The city wore a festive look. A huge length of electric cabling and over 100,000 light bulbs were used to decorate the city. “The illuminations represent the joy and wonder that are always part of the Eid celebrations and reflect the rich diversity of entertainment activities on offer,” said a technician working with the Riyadh Development Authority.
“With hundreds of trees and street poles all lit up for the occasion, no one visiting the capital for Eid will miss its unique character of celebrations,” said Ayesha Parvez, a housewife visiting the city with her husband.
One of the many shows includes a daredevil car and motorbike show held in a makeshift camp on the eastern ring road. “One can see a man driving a motorbike on a 60 degree slanting surface or another jumping through a ring of daggers and fires,” said Shahid Ashraf Khan, who went to see the exciting stunts.
In Jeddah, the festivities started with an opera led by well-known Saudi singer Muhammad Abdu with the accompaniment of folk dances.
Five locations in the city have been identified for firework displays, according to Prince Faisal ibn Abdul Majeed, chairman of the festival’s executive committee.
Thousands of Saudi and expatriate families converged on the Corniche to watch the fireworks causing traffic jams in many places last night and the night before. “In fact, cars were moving bumper-to-bumper along all roads leading to the Corniche,” a Saudi driver said.
“We set out an hour before midnight and took three hours to reach the Corniche,” said Abdul Karim Hashim, a Saudi IT professional. He said he was against the idea of going to the Corniche because of the expected rush but had to yield to the wishes of his two daughters who wanted to watch the fireworks.
In most parts of the Corniche, families occupied vintage points along the long stretch of the beach enjoying the fireworks. Children were seen playing with their toys and their parents savoring snacks and drinks that they had brought along.
Amusement and recreation spots along the Corniche were also full of families with their young ones enjoying various rides.
There have been no reports of any ugly incidents during the celebrations so far except power outages in parts of both Riyadh and Jeddah.
Check out more first hand accounts by Global Voices authors on how eid is celebrated in their countries:
And I would love to hear how you celebrate Eid!
EID MUBARAK (BLESSED EID) EVERYBODY!!! SELAMAT HARI RAYA! 🙂