You have been named supreme ruler of the universe. Your first order of business is creating and instituting a holiday or festival in your honor. What day of the year is your holiday? What special events will take place? Describe YOU DAY in as great a detail as you can muster: the special foods we’ll consume, the decorations we’ll use…everything.
What? As supreme ruler of anything, is that the first thing I’d do? Declare a holiday in my own honor? I REALLY HOPE NOT!
My favorite holiday of the year is the festive occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr.
Eid-ul-Fitr comes at the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. This month is my favorite time of the year as fasting kindles spirituality and closeness to God inside of me and a feeling of goodwill and hope. The difficult part is to keep this feeling alive for the rest of the year. At the end of the month we celebrate Eid with new clothes and gifts and lots of food.
We have special dishes for the occasion and since Eid comes at the end of the fasting month the emphasis is on food and lots of it. We go to visit all our relatives and friends and in each house we have to taste everything that is made.
When I was small we would collect Eidi or small amounts of money from our elders. Since I was the youngest I even got Eidi from my elder brother and sister. I don’t remember what I ever did with the money I collected, just the joy of having real money.
When I got married I saw that my mother-in-law would buy small gifts for the children of the family. This I thought was a better and more thoughtful practice than just handing out money. So now I try to do the same for the children of my family. This last Eid I gave my football-crazy nephew a football magazine and it was amazing to see the joy on his face. He must have thanked me at least 5 times.
Another tradition we have is for the girls to wear henna and bangles on Eid and traditional clothes. The girls really enjoy dressing up but it’s very difficult to convince the boys to wear the traditional shalwar kameez. It’s a shame because they look so cute!
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