Eid Around the World

LISTYA MANOPO on ART & CULTURE

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Muslims all over the world celebrate the first day of Syawal otherwise known as Eid Al-Fitr, or Idul Fitri in Indonesia. People in different countries have their own traditions of celebrating Eid, some of which are totally unusual compared to the culture in this country.


AFGANISTAN

In Afghanistan, people come together after doing Eid prayers and gather for games and food, including the festival of egg fights. Egg fight is done by two men with their hard-boiled eggs, each trying to be the first to crack his opponent’s egg. Another popular game is ghursai, which involves two men standing opposite of each other on one leg while holding the other leg with one hand behind the back. They would hop towards each other on their sole standing leg and make the other fall or drop the second leg by pushing and shoving.

TURKEY

Turkey celebrates Eid with a candy festival, since the country is big on sweets. The sugar feast locally known as Seker Bayrami is a three-day celebration where people shop for traditional candies and chocolate, prepare pastries like baklava, get a haircut and do personal grooming since looking their best is the main key during the festival. Children would visit houses of their neighbors and wish them a blessed feast, and in return they will get candies, chocolate or even a small amount of money; almost resembling Halloween in Western countries.

ITALY

Although minor in number, Islam is still the second most practiced faith in the country, behind Roman Catholicism. In fact, the biggest mosque in Europe is located in the capital city of Rome. The religion was first introduced during the 9th century, but expanded greatly in the 20th century. As most of the areas in this country are surrounded by water, it is a common occurrence for Muslim Italians to do Eid prayers by the sea, for sure adding a different atmosphere of celebrating their victory.

EGYPT

In Egypt, Eid Al-Fitr is a three-day holiday. The keyword is Eid, a word that means a festivity, a celebration, a recurring happiness, and a feast. During this holiday, families would go to a park nearby and have a feast of Eid-themed dishes. The item most associated with Eid is Kahk, a type cookies filled with nuts and covered with powdered sugar. Interestingly, during the Eid holiday period, increased prices of Kahk ingredients did not stop Egyptians from celebrating their feast.

MYANMAR

Eid Al-Fitr in Myanmar only lasts a day, but the whole month of Ramadan leading up to this day is just as, if not more, festive as the holiday. Burmese Muslims in small towns and villages with considerable Muslim populations would organize singing teams called Jago, meaning wake up. Teams of Jago usually don’t use musical instruments apart from the occasional use of harmonica. They will go out and about caroling throughout the neighborhoods singing religious songs before sunrise to wake fellow Muslims for their Suhoor, a meal eaten before fasting.