Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated with great revelry by not just Indian Muslims but by the followers of Islam across the globe. In India Eid ul-Fitr is also known as “Choti Eid'' or “Ramadan Id” as it is celebrated at end of the month long fasting during Ramadan. The date of Eid ul-Fitr is decided, based on the sighting of the new crescent moon, during the night of the last day of the scared month of Ramadan. Its celebrations in India continue for around three days. As per the Hijiri calendar this auspicious occasion is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal (tenth month of the Islamic calendar). Fitr is an Arabic word that means to end the fast.
As per the Islamic traditional belief system it is thought that whosoever, fasts with great devotion during the month of Ramadan, shall be absolved of all his/her past sins and will not only move closer to Allah but also will be included in his good graces. Thus, Eid ul-Fitr holds special place in the hearts of Muslims across the world and is celebrated with great spiritual fervor. Since the Muslim community is spread throughout the world, some cultural as well as social variations due to language and other factors can be observed in the celebration of this occasion, though the basic essence and faith remains identical. In the article below you will find details about the celebrations of Eid ul-Fitr in India.
Celebrations in India
In India a night before the Eid is spent going on shopping sprees in various local markets and malls, which remain open late in night to mark the occasion. Groups of Muslim families can be seen buying and enjoying bargaining at various shops for various food items, clothes and accessories. To mark the occasion women of the community apply mehndi on their palms and feet. Colorful bangles also become a much coveted item during the Eid celebrations. This night before the Eid, when preparatory celebrations of the festival begin in the country, is known as the Chaand Raat, when translated in English it means "Night of the Moon."
In India on the day of the Eid, the members of the Muslim community greet each other cheerfully by saying Eid Mubarak and then embrace each other formally. On this day family members, relatives and friend exchange gifts. New clothes are worn and children often get some token amount of cash, known as Eidi from the elders of the family. Children are at their best behavior and offer formal greetings (salam) to their parents and other older acquaintances. On this pious day a large congregation gathers at the mosque to offer prayers, however before worship people often give charity, which is locally known as fitra. Since it is believed that charity done at this time of the year, yields manifold rewards to the giver than any other time, many people take this opportunity to distribute zakat, which is the donation of 2.5% of the total yearly saving done by Muslim.
After offering Eid prayers, families often visit the graves of their deceased family members and offer prayers for their salvation. Visiting neighbors, elderly relatives and sharing special meals cooked for the day with one another, is also a common practice followed by Muslims in India. Sivayyan, sweet vermicelli noodles dish prepared with milk and dried fruits is the main dessert of the day. In India most popular congregating places for Muslims are Jama Masjid in New Delhi, Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, Aishbagh Idgah in Lucknow etc. Thus, Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated with great enthusiasm across India.
Eid ul-Fitr is an important festival for the Muslim community in India and is celebrated with great reverence by them.