Eid Mubarak from CHUP! For Muslims, today [or yesterday] marks the end of the holy month of fasting, or Ramadan. This holiday, known specifically as, Eid ul-Fitr, is celebrated on the first day of the Muslim month of Shawwal, based on the lunar Islamic calendar. In South Asia in particular, Muslims spend the night before Eid, known as Chaand Raat [the night of the moon] visiting markets and shopping areas to buy new clothes and bangles for the next day’s festivities [see image to the left, from Dawn]. Many women paint their hands with henna. Following the morning Eid prayers, celebrations often involve visiting relatives and friends and feasting on dishes like sivayyan and biryani. Children often receive money, or Eidi from their elders.
More than anything, though, Eid is about community. In a country frequently ravaged by suicide bombings and indiscriminate attacks, Ramadan and its corresponding Eid should represent a time of reflection, renewal and unity for Muslims in Pakistan and throughout the world. Eid is a time for us to come together, regardless of the forces that try to divide us through intolerance, hatred, and violence.