Fasting ends with festive spread

Food is an important part of Eid Ul Fitr festivities with families donating to charity so that the less privileged can feast.

Published: 11th August 2013 12:00 AM  |   Last Updated: 09th August 2013 01:17 PM   |  A+A-

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On Friday, Eid Ul Fitr was celebrated around the world, marking the conclusion of the holy month of Ramzan.

Ramzan serves as a guide to mankind. All Muslims are asked to spend the month fasting, to give one the opportunity to focus on the soul rather than the body. Fasting for 30 days brings great discipline and control not only on what you eat, but also on your thoughts—you are to restrict what runs through your mind. No bad, evil, terrible thoughts, no bad intentions, Control what your eyes see, control what you hear. Do not hear someone speak filth, and in return you do not talk in vain. No gossiping, no lying, no fighting, no getting angry. Abstain from most worldly desires whilst in fast.

It is the time to reach out to your soul, to rethink, to be at peace, to be pure and to be as close to your God as you can. To be generous, help the needy and do as much good. Technically our creator wished for us to be pure and good at all times … But it wasn’t a easy task to keep up to. So it was decided to do so for a month. And after a whole month of fasting, comes the much-awaited Eid. The day to celebrate the end of fasting and thank Allah, for helping and strengthening us.

In preparation for this holiday, Muslims give money to charity so that every family can enjoy the festivities and have a good meal. The night before Eid, people often visit bazaars and shopping malls with their families. Women, adorn their hands and feet with mehendi as the festive spirit sets in. Houses are lit up and everyone looks forward to the next day's morning prayers.On the early morning of the holiday, Muslims gather in a local mosque or outdoor space for the special Eid prayers. It is customary to dress in new clothes, apply perfume, and attend this community prayer, which is preceded by a sermon. Following prayers, worshippers congratulate each other.

The traditional greeting is Eid Mubarak, and a formal embrace frequently follows it. Gifts are given — new clothes are part of the tradition — and the part that the kids look forward to most is the “ Eidi “ (little cash gifts) given to them by their elders.

During Eid Ul Fitr, Muslims prepare delicious dishes according to tradition and serve it to family and guests. Muslims are often encouraged to slaughter a lamb on the occasion. Eid day celebrations are not limited to a lunch or dinner and the food is usually accompanied with snacks and sweets. My personal favourite is Seviyan. It’s a dessert made from roasted vermicelli.

There are two ways of making it: With milk – Sheer Korma and without milk- Seviyan, and at most times I cannot decide which one I love more. So here are both the recipes.

(kajaltejsinghani@gmail.com)

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