Celebrating Eid al-Fitr In 2021
Image by WAQAR AHMAD from Pixabay
This is the second Eid al-Fitr being celebrated during lockdown. I believe many Muslims in the UK were hoping the lockdown restrictions were going to be eased prior to the 17th May, but unlike Eid al-Fitr in 2020 where no Eid or Ramadan prayers were taking place, this year Mosques that have facilities will be performing the Eid prayer in the Mosque.
When is Eid?
The crescent moon has been sighted and clarified by the Saudi religious authorities, so Eid al-Fitr will be celebrated on Thursday 13th May 2021, but some Muslims may also be celebrating it on Friday 14th May.
The festival of Eid al-Fitr, marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan.
Festival of Breaking Fast
Decorated Mosque ceiling - Image by Sharon Ang from Pixabay
Eid al-Fitr is also called the "Festival of Breaking Fast". It is a religious holiday celebrated worldwide by Muslims and is one of the highlights of the Islamic calendar.
Some Mosques may well have to do the prayer sessions in slots so that all can take part. There will be a separate entry and exit to the Mosque put in place with limited numbers being able to attend.
Eid Prayer will be monitored, adhering to current restrictions, like Ramadan prayers which were also performed with safety measures in place, with an hour long session being reduced to 20 minutes.
Eid al-Fitr, or simply Eid is a time to celebrate with family and friends and to enjoy lavish meals.
Image by Mehndi Training Centre from Pixabay
Everyone prepares for Eid prayers by bathing and dressing in new clothes. Women and girls usually decorate their hands with Henna. Children are given gifts and money to celebrate Eid.
As a child the enthusiasm and excitement of visiting local shops and purchasing sweets to share with your friends was always rewarding.
With the shops now open in the UK, there has been some excitement leading up to Eid. Families across the country have been able to visit local shops, do online shopping for new clothes, presents and special food for a delicious buffet for Eid -Ul- Fitr for the family to be able to enjoy together.
Each year the traditional food such as meat pilau rice, biryani, samosas and special chaat dishes are served along with the traditional Kheer, Rasmali and sweet rice. Often you will see households adding a twist to their traditional recipes, introducing the East meets West recipes and willing to cook and try out cuisine that Muslims from different culture may serve.
Friends and Family
Sweet rice and vermicelli
Although visiting some families and friends maybe possible, unfortunately Muslims this year will not be able to go back to complete normality for celebrating this Eid.
Muslims would usually congratulate one another after Eid prayers, saying Eid Mubarak (Happy Eid) with a hug and shaking hands. They would spend the day visiting relatives and neighbours, tasting the wonderful food from house to house as they move around.
Although Eid is a time to celebrate, currently as in 2020 it is a very difficult time for all and many Muslims will be reflecting on the present situation and praying for everyone’s safety.
Here are links to some of the special, delicious dishes my mum always prepared for Eid
Sweet rice and vermicelli https://www.amaali.co.uk/sweet-rice-and-vermicelli
Sweet dish - Coconut balls https://www.amaali.co.uk/coconut-balls
Traditional dish of pilau rice with lamb chops https://www.amaali.co.uk/mutton-pilau-rice
Wishing all Muslims a Happy Eid - Eid Mubarak
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