According to the calendar, June 21st is supposed to be the day. But I know very well after years of experience that the mood of the moon plays a part in finalizing the date. The day before Eid ul Adha is quite a unique one in itself. It’s the day, my grandma’s little spheres of Gulab Jamun dough turn golden brown in the pan, the day my mom’s pastries get stuffed with chicken curry and the day I stare into the oven watching over my baby brownies bloom. My dad heats the creases off all our clothes, while grandpa and brother lift-off cloth from our couches, a very South Asian thing.
Eid is a day of celebration, not only to me and my family but to many others around the world. For the pilgrims in Makkah, it’s the last day of Hajj and a time to celebrate after the sacrifices they made. On the day of Eid al Adha, we make it a point to rise early, not even a minute of this blessed day should be wasted. Dressed in our new clothes with my hair drenched under the hijab, I stand in prayer with my grandfather being the head of the congregation. Soon after the prayers, my entire family greets one another, hugs and kisses are part of the process. Breakfast would be eaten together amidst the flood of calls coming in from relatives to wish us on this blessed day. Most of the morning would be spent wishing our relatives a Happy Eid, sharing photos via social media, and devouring the food we made yesterday. Not to forget the money.
The Covid-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc in all our lives and continues to unapologetically do so. This year Eid would be different for some of us, instead of visiting our relatives, we would be hosting zoom calls, instead of being attired in new clothes we would be attired in our best clothes. Adapting is part of life and while the celebrations must go on, importance needs to be given to adhere by state-imposed guidelines.
Lunch every Eid is purchased from a restaurant and is always Biriyani. The evenings of Eid ul Adha this year, would be spent playing card games and reminiscing over memories of these past years. As the day goes on and night approaches, I go to bed thinking of all the fresh memories I made today, waiting excitedly for the next Eid to celebrate.
Eid for me is more than just a day of celebration, it’s about connecting with relatives, friends, and Muslims around the globe. Over 2 billion Muslims celebrate Eid al Adha, although our means of celebration may differ, we unite in making it a prosperous day for ourselves and our loved ones. Eid al Adha is the celebration after sacrifice. The messages, cards, gifts, and kind words that people send to me on this day is what completes Eid for me. In the Jameel family this is how we celebrate Eid; how do you celebrate it in yours?