Hello lovelies, Cant believe its been almost two weeks since Eid1 already. Time just flies I tell you. I think I am finally getting used to Eids away from home and embracing the little things that make it special here. I remember in the first few years, Bilal wouldn’t take a day off, I didn’t know many people, and was still in the afterglow of those Pakistani Eids, it just felt so sad, not being able to celebrate it like we used to back home. But thank God it feels different now:)
Anyways, here is a peek at our celebration from this year.
Laying out gifts for the little one and putting up some simple decorations the night before so the house feels festive.
I got this idea from our local mosque and loved it, little gift packages for our neighbors and friends (Non-Muslim ones). I bought books for the kids, chocolates for the families and a little card that told them what we were celebrating and thanking them for the joy they bring to our lives. I will definitely be doing this every year from now on iA.
Early Eid morning, after we changed our clothes, Anya opened her gifts and skyped a little with her loved ones. For a change this year, we planned to have a proper breakfast together as a family before we left for Eid namaz2. Bilal and I had prepared it together the night before and we all enjoyed it.
We are lucky to have this beautiful mosque in our area. It is amazing, the feeling of community you feel at the Eid namaz2, with people of different races, colors, languages, dressed in a variety of traditional outfits coming together. I just love going for the Eid namaz.That is probably my favorite part about spending Eid here as back in Pakistan, the women usually stayed at home and skipped the Eid prayer.
The evening was spent at a potluck gathering at one of our friends’ house. A friend started this lovely tradition and now it has spread, resulting in a whole table full of gifts for the kids as their Eidi3. This year, one sweet friend even brought gifts for all of us ladies:)
The rest of the evening was spent enjoying the yummy food, the kids opening their gifts, taking group pictures outside including the hysterics of trying to pose a group of toddlers and little kids, the guys playing cricket outside, drinking lots of chai accompanied with delectable meethas4, mehndi5 and just enjoying the company.
And it felt completely how Eid should feel like. Celebratory, festive and just plain happy. It felt good, being able to give our kids that feeling of Eid that we all remember from our childhoods. We are specially lucky to have friends that are like family to us while living away from our families. It is truly a blessing.
Thanks for reading.
2. Eid Namaz/Eid Prayers/Salat al Eid is a special prayer offered to commemorate the celebration of the two Eids. Go here for an article in one of our local papers about the Eid prayer this year at our local mosque.
3 Eidi is a gift given from one person to another, usually children, on the day of Eid. Similar to a Christmas present, these can be simple gifts, sweets, flowers or cash. Back in Pakistan, this usually used to be money and it was common for all us kids to be asking each other how much Eidi they collected.
4. Meetha is an Urdu word for sweets. The Eid-ul-Fitr is also refered to as Meethi eid because of the tradition of serving different types of delectable sweets at the celebrations.
5. Mehndi, also known as henna in the western world is the application of a temporary form of skin decoration on the hands mostly. The people in India, Nepal, Pakistan, Bangladesh and the Maldives as well as immigrant communities from those countries also use mehndi on special occasions like weddings or religious celebrations like Eid etc. It has also spread to Arab communities now. In the west it is commonly called henna tattoos.