Eid Traditions from Muslim Countries Around the World
Eid Mubarak everyone! I’m hoping you all know what ‘Eid Mubarak’ means. If not, well that is what Pakistani’s say when they greet each other on Eid. So, here I wish you a happy Eid in my own language! What else would I be talking about right now anyway? What else would ANY Muslim around the world be talking about? Nothing but Eid traditions, Eid Food and Eid Clothes.
Initially, I was going to write about some Sunnahs for Eid today. But then I wished you ‘Eid Mubarak’ (the Pakistani way) and started wondering how I would wish readers from other Muslim countries. I also wanted to know what Eid traditions other Muslim countries follow. Like a gazillions time before, that made me research some Eid traditions around the world, and now here I am fully equipped to pass on that information to you. So let’s, please start from my country, yeah? Pakistan? Pretty please? Thank you! Here we go.
You now know that in Pakistan ‘Eid Mubarak’ is ‘Happy Eid’. So let’s move on to other things? I’m including India and Bangladesh here because the Muslims there follow the same traditions. Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations start on the night of the sighting of the moon. We call it ‘Chaand Raat’ meaning ‘The Night of the Moon’. Markets all around the country start bustling with people doing last minute Eid shopping. Henna and traditional bangles stalls stay open late till night for women. You can really see how excited everyone is for Eid if you go out on Chaand Raat.
On the day of Eid, Muslims performs ghusl (bathing), put on new clothes, have breakfast and leave for the Eid prayer. After the Eid prayers, all Muslims greets each other and come back home to delicious food. The most favourite Eid food in the Sub-continent is ‘Sheer Khurma’. It is made of roasted noodles, bread, milk and oh God; I have water in my mouth now. So no more details on the Sheer Khurma. Look it up!
I completely forgot to mention here, that Eid-ul-Fitr is also known as Choti (Little) Eid. And honestly, it makes sense cause its like it is the festival for little ones more than anyone else. Children are SO excited for this Eid. More than Eid-ul-Adha. Why? Because Eidi, people! All the older members of the family give some money as a gift to kids on this Eid. Why would that not make them excited, eh? I could go on about Eid in Pakistan forever, so let’s move on to other Muslim countries now, shall we?
Eid-ul-Fitr is more commonly referred to as ‘Idul Fitri’ or ‘Lebaran’ in Indonesia. The celebrations when the moon is sighted by beating the traditional bedug drums. Bedug drums signify the time to break the fast for Muslims. The bedug drums are beaten throughout the day and night as a celebration. The drum beating is also accompanied by amplified prayer and Islamic music.
Since it’s a strong tradition to visit relatives and friends, a mass exodus (mudik) of almost 3 million people occurs from Jakarta every year on Eid. Employees also receive an Eid bonus before Eid holidays.
On the Eid day, Muslims offer prayers in congregation held in mosques and large open fields and parks. Muslims visit friends and family on Eid to beg for forgiveness. The greeting used to ask for forgiveness on Eid is ‘Mohar Maaf Lahir dan Batin’. It translates to ‘forgive me from the bottom of my heart for the wrongs I committed last year’. Beautiful, isn’t it?
Most Muslims gather at the house of the oldest family member to celebrate and share a meal. The Indonesian traditional Eid food is Ketupat. You can call it an Indonesian diamond shaped dumpling made of palm leaves and filled with rice. I’m regretting including food in this article because now my tummy is rumbling.
Eid-ul-Fitr in Malaysia is called Hari Raya Aidilfitri. The festival formally starts after the sighting of the moon on the last day of Ramadhan month. Muslims offer Hari Raya Aidilfitri prayers held at mosques around the country. It is also traditional to visit the cemetery and pray for the deceased.
One solely Malaysian Eid tradition is the “open houses”. Open Houses are hosted by people to invite friends and family on a dine-in buffet and are usually held on the weekend after the first week of Eid. Why after the first week of Eid, you are wondering? Well, because Eid celebrations go on for the whole of Shawaal in Malaysia. An entire month of festivities! Can you imagine?
Malaysians have not just one but two Eid special delicacies. The first one is the Ketupat, that is also savoured by the Indonesians. The second is Lemang, which has rice cooked in bamboo sticks in coconut milk. YUM.
4. Saudi Arabia
Eid ul-Fitr in Saudi Arabia is a three-day long festival that starts with a small meal and Eid prayers. The festivities and celebrations continue throughout the three days and only grow more with time. Eid celebrations differ in different provinces, but the hospitality and generosity stay the same.
Little children receive Riyals (Saudi Currency) from every adult in the family. Kids also get beautifully decorated gift bags full of toys and candies. Several shops give away gifts to their customers. Saudi people leave secretly leave bags of food on the doorstep of the houses in the poor neighbourhoods. A wonderful tradition that all Muslim countries should follow. What do you think?
The Eid favourite food in Saudi Arabia and most of the Middle East is kebob. Please, just look at the picture and don’t ask me what it’s made of because my tummy just rumbled again.
Turkish Muslims refer to all national and religious festivals as ‘Bayram’. Eid-ul-Fitr is called ‘Ramadan Bayram’. Muslims greet each other saying “Bayraminiz mübarek olsun” meaning “May your Bayram be blessed”. Another common phrase for wishing Eid is Mutlu Bayramlar meaning “Happy Bayram”. is another phrase for rejoicing in this Bayram.
Turkish Muslims also love to have kebobs on Eid. I think I’m going to have to look up the recipe. I mean, just look at how amazing that dish looks!
The first day of Eid is considered the most significant. Muslims rise early and leave to offer Eid prayers. Elders are greeted by kissing their hands and putting it on one’s forehead as a gesture of respect. It is also customary for children to go to each house in their neighbourhood and wish everybody a joyful Eid. Kids are rewarded with Traditional Turkish delights and sweets.
That’s about it, I guess. Congratulations on becoming just as knowledgeable as me on the Eid Traditions in Major Muslim countries! I’m quite sure I missed many of the wonderful Eid festivities. If you have some to share about your countries, please do! Happy Eid again!