There are so many Muslims around the world that come from such unique backgrounds, cultures, and customs of doing things. Eid and any type of celebration can be extremely different for Muslims living in various parts of the world, especially with the pandemic. Since Islam is commonly practised by our Arab community, we decided this year see how a few Muslims that live in different parts of the world celebrated Eid especially given the pandemic we’re still in. We have compiled a few people’s responses and some research to showcase how Muslims celebrate Eid everywhere.
“The first day of Eid, my family and I visited family, however, the next few days of Eid we take advantage of the sunny weather and lay out on the beach. It is actually very common for Turkish families to flood the beaches during Eid days and spend some time with family while playing with sand and water. We usually make big dinners and have a picnic, and watch the sunset. It’s not just my family’s tradition, but it is something that a lot of Turks know to do. Sometimes if we don’t have a beach nearby, or if we want to get a change of scenery, families would travel to different territories and take advantage of their beaches.”
“Eid for us consists of a lot of music and food. It was time for us to finally reconnect with our families. During Ramadan we were not able to see alot of our family which sucked a lot, but after Ramadan we made sure to gather outside for a picnic. In Pakistan everyone basically does the same, we all gather at a relatives house, all dressed up and spend the day there. Since I live in Canada and have some relatives and family friends we decided to continue doing what we know best.”
Iceland by far has the most unique tradition of how Muslims celebrate Eid which makes sense because they are amongst those individuals that usually have to fast for 22 hours in the month of Ramadan due to the sunset being at a late hour in the day. Eid is usually celebrated in the Reykjavík Mosque located in the capital of Iceland. Guests who visit the Mosque on Eid are greeted with an international buffet of foods from different cuisines around the world. Everyone attends wearing their best clothes, and the children exchange gifts with their friends and family.
In Singapore, people are greeted with a series of light shows in the Geylang Serai area. Geylang Serai, which is Singapore’s oldest Malay settlement, has been the center of Eid-al-Fitr celebrations. Beautifully colored lights illuminate the streets of Geylang Serai each year and there are special visual installations that are set for the special night. Singapore does not back down when it comes to its cuisine, and food is definitely a big part of their bazaars during the holiday. Singapore is known for its exquisite Malay food.
“Back home in Egypt, we would wake up very early to go to morning prayers on Eid day. They are very important, and everyone takes them very seriously. They are also a way for us to greet friends, family, and neighbours after Ramadan all in one place. After we get dressed and go to our family’s house for dinner, the younger children get money. That usually is the highlight of Eid as a kid; when you compete with your cousins on who got the most money. Other than that, it’s time spent with your loved ones, lots of food, laughter, and games.” A beautiful example of how Muslims celebrate Eid in Egypt.”
In New Zealand there is a known and beloved park that everyone likes to gather during Eid, called Eden park. Every year they host their bi-annual Eid day fun festival filled with activities for everyone like carnival fun, assortment of foods. This is a way for all Muslims to interact and get to know each other, and possibly make new friends. Families also gather at each other’s homes for an Eid dinner.
It is evident that when it comes to how Muslims celebrate Eid around the world, there are certain concepts that are very similar like family gatherings; but all places have their own unique twist to what they like to do on this special day.
by Mariam Asif – YLT Staff