Celebrating Eid-ul-Fitr in Pakistan

Islamabad, June 14, IRNA -- Like other Muslims countries of the world Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated in Pakistan with religious fervor, but it is not only a one day show and the festivities continue for many days.

Eid-ul-Fitr is the Islamic festival that marks the end of Ramadan, the ninth month of the Islamic calendar during which Muslims all over the world fast during the days and make special prayers at night.

Pakistan has an estimated population of 200 million and about 95-98% of Pakistanis are Muslims thus Ramadan and Eid-ul-Fitr are very special occasions for them.

Pakistani Muslims spend last two to three days before Eid in a frenzy of last minute Eid shopping. Mosques start displaying the amount of Zakat Al-Fitr to be given to the needy during the last days of Ramadan, with collection booths set up for this purpose outside their doors.

People also donate money for charity purposes as Eid is to bring a smile on other people’s faces and destroy all evil inside.

When the moon of Shawwal (Islamic Month) is sighted Eid day celebrations commence, marking the end of the month of Ramadan. Men and elders usually exchange moon greetings.

In the night people celebrate by various means, such as girls putting henna on their hands. People buy gifts and sweets that will be given to friends and families who come over to celebrate the end of Ramadan.

There are normally three to four holidays on Eid and many events take place to celebrate the occasion.

Eid preparations usually start with the beginning of Ramadan and continue throughout the month.

In Pakistan men usually wear simple traditional clothes for Eid whereas women and girls wear colorful clothes with bangles but it is customary for almost everyone to wear new dress.

No Eid celebration is completed without henna as it is a must activity for Pakistani girls and ladies to apply henna on hands on the occasion.

On Eid day special prayers offered across the country and the faithful after completing a month of fasting pray for the prosperity of the country besides extending wholesome wishes for friends and family.

After the prayer, the Imam gives short sermon exhorting righteousness and reminding the Muslims to strive to continue their steadfastness in worship, a routine to which they adhered in Ramadan.

The traditional Eid greeting is ‘Eid Mubarak’, and it is frequently followed by a formal embrace.

People give Zakat al-fitr, also commonly known as 'fitrana' to poor at the end of Ramadan. It is a way for Muslims to give thanks that they were able to complete the month of fasting.

After offering Eid prayers, which is an occasion for expressing thanks to Allah, the men return home wishing children, women and elders of the household ‘Eid Mubarak’ and eat the sweet dish known as ‘Seviyan’ or Sheer-Khurma (dates cooked in milk and served with wheat noodles). Also as an additional treat, a variety of dishes are cooked.

People usually spend Eid with their dear ones and for this they could even travel to far away towns to enjoy the occasion. It is also a time for the people to put their personal grudges aside and forgive others.

After the Eid prayers, it is common for some families to visit graveyards and pray for the salvation of departed family members.

It is also common to visit neighbors, family members, friends and to get together to share sweets, snacks and special meals, including some special dishes that are prepared specifically on Eid.

During the evening people go to restaurants or relaxing in city parks. For the children it is a very happy day because they receive money from all the elders called as ‘Eidi’ to spend and enjoy. They also can receive clothes or gifts.


Follow us on Twitter @IrnaEnglish