Though predominantly known as a Hindu nation because of the maximum number of population in India practices Hinduism, the fact remains that the India in itself is a secular nation, deemed so by its constitution. Thus, here every religion is respected and its followers freely practice their faith. Thus, the Muslim population of the country celebrates various Islamic festivals in accordance with their faith, immersed in great revelry. The significant Islamic holidays celebrated in the country are Ramzan (Ramadan), Muharram, Id-e-Milad aslo known as Barah Wafat and Bakr-Id. These festivals do not correspond with the Gregorian calendar, since they are celebrated as per the auspicious Islamic lunar calendar.
The celebrations of various Muslim festivals celebrated in India are considered an auspicious occasion not just by the particular community but the whole nation. Thus, the festivities involve various aspects depending from occasion to occasion, such as fasting, feasting, exchange of gifts and wishes, however offering of prayers remain a common tradition followed by the community to mark any important occasion, not just in India but throughout the world. During the Muslim festivals in India the streets are decorated with stirrings of colorful electric bulbs and markets overflow with shoppers. Some markets even stay open well past midnight and people roam freely savoring various delicacies made specially to celebrate these festivities.
The Muslim calendar begins with the month of Muharram. The tenth day of this month is spent in great mourning, as it was on this day that the Prophet's grandson Hussain, achieved martyrdom. But even this sad occasion is bathed in numerous colors, due to the long colorful processions taken out by people carrying Taziahs, which are in fact magnificent replicas of the martyr's tomb. On the other hand Bakriid or Id-ul-Zuha, is a festival of sacrifice, as on this day Prophet Ibrahim's faith was tested. Eid-ul-Fitr is another significant Muslim festival, which is celebrated at the end of the month of Ramzan. A festival of bittersweet sentiments is Id-e-Milad, which commemorates the birth as well as the death anniversary of the Prophet Mohammed. Thus, Muslim festivals hold a special place in the Indian festival calendar.
The Muslim community in India is an integral part of the intricate cultural, social and economic fabric of the country. Thus, all the Muslim festivals are celebrated with great respect and enthusiasm throughout the country. Among the number of Muslim festivals celebrated across the nation and world Eid ul-Adha or Bakrid holds a special place in the hearts of the entire community.
This sacred Muslim festival marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and also to the month long fasting. Thus, Eid ul-Fitr is also known as the Feast of Breaking the Fast and the Lesser Eid. As per the Hijiri calendar Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated on the first day of the month known as Shawwal, it is the tenth month of the Islamic calendar.
Barah Wafat Celebration
Id-e-Milad is a festival of both rejoicing and mourning. The festival of Id-e-Milad popularly known as Barah Wafat the twelfth day is one of the important festival in the Muslim calendar. The day commemorates the birth and also the death anniversary of Prophet Mohammed. It falls on the twelfth day of the third month Rabi-ul-Awwal of the Muslim calendar, which is usually in September and October. The word 'barah' signifies the twelve days of the Prophet's sickness.
The first Muslim month is Muharram and Muharram is observed on the tenth day of this month. Muharram is a day of mourning as it commemorates the greatest tragedy in the history of Islam-the martyrdom of the Prophet's grandson Hussain. The long processions with their Taziahs which are the gorgeous replicas of the martyr's tomb, the masked dancers and the colorful crowds, give Muharram the appearance of a happy festival but in reality it is an expression of grief and sorrow.
Islam is a significant religion practiced in India, this section gives details of Muslims festivals celebrated in the country.