Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Eid Mubarak (Happy Holiday)

Hello to all and Eid Mubarak to all my Muslim readers. Eid Mubarak is one of the expressions we use to wish each other a Happy Holiday. What holiday?- my nonMuslim friends may be asking. For those of you who haven't read my blog recently or don't know about Islam: Muslims are just completing our month of fasting (the Islamic Month of Ramadan). At the end of this month we will have a 3-4 day holiday called Eid Al-Fitr.

Eid Al-Fitr marks the end of the month of Ramadan. The holiday begins after a congregated morning prayer at the Mosque or conventional hall. Once the prayer is complete, the celebration begins and lasts between three to four days.

Visiting family entails most of the 3 day holiday. Visiting usually begins immediately after the morning prayer. To give you a clearer picture of what it means to visit family and friends, I will describe what I experienced last year...Prayer started around 700am and relatives started knocking on the door of my Mother-in-law (who we were living with at the time) around 800am and the visiting lasted well into the evening. One by one, group by group, the family members came by and visited. Some stayed 5-10 minutes and others stayed an hour or more. During their visit we drank tea or coffee, ate sweets, and wished each other a happy holiday. The following day, we drove to everyone's home, to home, to home. We visited with each family member over the next two days. Our visits lasted the same, either 5-10 minutes or an hour-depending on the relationship and how much time we had spent with the same family the previous day(s). The kids all ran around together, eating candy and getting money from the adults. It's an enjoyable time and it can be exhausting all the same (just as Christmas or another holiday you may relate to).

The nice thing about living in Jordan (a predominately Muslim country) is that we get four days off from work for Eid Al-Fitr. However, this year the holiday will fall on the beginning of the weekend, so the four days include 2 regular working days off and 2 days for the usual weekend. Either way, it will be nice to have the additional days away from work and home with family. My brother-in-law and his wife are expected to come in from Bahrain for the week, and we are looking forward to seeing them and spending time with them. Living in Bahrain has even better perks than Jordan-they get the 4 days off in addition to the weekend - so they will be with us the entire week, inshallah (God Willing).

People often ask if we exchange gifts or how else Eid is celebrated. Gifts are exchanged and new clothes are bought...mostly for the children. Special food and desserts are prepared as well. Over the past 1.5 weeks, the streets have been packed with parked cars, cars trying to get through the traffic, pedestrians crossing the street, and shoppers walking from store to store-all out shopping and preparing for Eid. Shopping for the gifts, new clothes, something special for the house, or special food they are planning to prepare. The houses, businesses and streets are decorated with lights. Special donations of food and money are given to the poor, as it is a requirement of Islam to give a monetary donation (not only on a yearly basis), but also before the Eid begins to ensure that all Muslims have food to eat and are taken care of by those blessed with more. Everyone is happy and excited for Eid and the blessings of Ramadan. Some are also sad to see the end of the month of fasting as it is an especially spiritual month and even though they can fast most any day of the year, nothing is as spiritual and special as Ramadan. No matter what religion you come from, you cannot deny the excitement in the air and the special time this is for Muslims around the world. Please, wish a Muslim a Happy Eid over the next few days and/or take the time to learn more about Islam for yourself during this time.

Hope everyone had a blessed Ramadan and a wishing every Muslims a Happy Eid Al-Fitr!


  1. Thank you for helping us to understand Ramadan and Eid. I didn't know the exact Eid date: Happy Eid! I'm sure you're having a great time with your family eating, laughing, talking, and eating. :-) God bless you.

    Love, Mom

  2. May your family have a safe and happy Holiday. Wishing you all a Happy Eid. Our beliefs come in many different ways and we should respect and wish only the best for each other. Love to Beth and your Family.

    Auntie Sharee

  3. Happy Eid Beth, Yanal, Omar and Aisha...I bet the kids are having a blast:)

    Love, Lindsay

  4. Do buisnesses in Jordan consider this a holiday? Or do people just take 3 to 4 days off to visit family during Eid Al - Fitr?? I think that is great that muslims make a point every year to visit their families like that.Family is very important!! I defiantely respect the muslim culture for keeping family in the center of there lives.

    - Elyssa