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Eid-ul-fitr is an Islamic holiday. Muslims celebrate this day after fasting during the holy month of Ramadan. The purpose of this is to thank Allah for giving us the strength to obey His order. This holyday starts night before, everyone wake up early in the morning begin the actual day by going to masque for pray, greeting others, meal is served and followed by gift exchange. All the Muslims celebrate eid-ul-Fitr all over the world. It is the happiest day of the year for the Muslims. The preparation of Eid-ul-Fitr’s big meal begins a night before the actual day. In the morning everybody gets up early in the morning to get ready to go to the mosque (church) for the Eid-ul-Fitr prayer, which is followed by a big meal at home, and lastly, the gifts are exchanged. Eid-ul-fitr really begins with the moon sighting.
On the end of the twenty-ninth day of the fast, everybody gets out of the house to see the new moon (first of the moon month) for the next month. If the moon is sighted by anybody around the world then it is announced either on television or radio. Here in America since we are just a minority of Muslims, people call each other on the phone to let everybody know that it’s the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the next day is the Eid-ul-Fitr. Otherwise, there is another fast to complete the thirty days. In either case, the meat is marinated, the sweets are prepared, and the mother, sister-in-law and sisters for the next day meal make other preparations. Besides the preparation for the big Eid-ul-Fitr meal, everybody congratulates one another and prays. We usually don’t sleep until late that night because everybody gets so excited for the Eid-ul-Fitr.
The next morning, everybody goes to the Mosque for Eid-ul-fitr prayer. There is always a huge gathering of Muslim community there to pray. Most of the time, the whole family goes for the prayer unless somebody is ill. The Eid prayer usually takes one and a half to two hours. After the payer everybody hugs each other and congratulates by saying “Eid Mubarik”. Often I see friends or sometimes relatives on Eid prayer whom I haven’t seen the whole year. After everybody meets with each other, most families go home for the Eid-ul-fitr meal. There is always a meal prepared at the Mosque for people who don’t have their families over here in the United States or for the people who can’t afford a good meal.
At home, the meal is served to everybody together. Everybody sits around the dining table and a brief prayer is said usually by my father or grandmother in whom Allah (God) is thanked for providing us a delicious meal and a happy family. The main dish is Biryani. It is a rice dish cooked with special spices and meat. Other dishes included samosas, meat curry and sweets. The meal is always cooked very spicy and is followed by a desert. After the meal, everybody sits in the living room and talks about different things. At this time, the children receive their gifts from parents, uncles and grandparents.
The gifts are usually given to children in cash. I was given one hundred dollars from my mom and dad last year. All the elders in the family give children something. Most of the time children get enough money to buy them something nice. Mostly after the meal and gifts distribution, the whole family goes over to neighbors, relatives and family friends to congratulate and exchange gifts. People come and go all day until the most pleasured day of Eid-ul-fitr is over.
Eid-ul-fitr is one of the best days of the year. It brings the moments of happiness and good spirits for every Muslim family around the world. The meal preparation, awaking up early in the morning to go to the prayer. The Eid meal and gifts are awaited until the next Eid-ul-fitr. All over again children start counting down the day until the next Eid-ul-fitr.