A Beginner’s Guide to Eid

First time celebrating Eid? At a loss as to what you’re supposed to do? Wondering if Eid is a lot like Christmas?

Well, then this is the guide for you! Also, no, Eid is pretty much nothing like Christmas. Sure, there may be presents involved, and there are Eid parties and things, but no. Eid comes around twice a year. The first, Eid ul-Fitr, comes at the end of Ramadan. The second, Eid ul-Adha, comes at the end of the pilgrimage season. Read on for general advice that can apply to either of the two Eids!

Wait, how early do I have to wake up? Sorry, rookie, if you want to get to the masjid before the parking lot turns into a replication of a motorist Mount Everest, you’ll need to be awake, showered, fed, and looking dapper at an unreasonably early time. Eid prayer is quick and easy, as long as you pay attention to the review at the beginning of when to raise your hands and when to tie them. There is a very high possibility that the person next to you will get it wrong.

Looking Dapper: The thing with Eid is that you’re practically required to be happy. Most people buy new clothes for Eid. They are usually cultural outfits, but if you’re not into that kind of thing, a shirt and tie or a maxi dress are acceptable. Just keep it classy and neat. If Eid falls in the summer, as it did this year, make sure you aren’t suffocating in your clothes. Those Eid parties are like ovens sometimes, with too many people and too much hot air. Girls, especially desi girls, will put henna designs on their hands. (I would like to add that henna designs on a girl’s hands do not mean she is getting married. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gotten that question. We do henna whenever we want, thank you.)

The Food: Arguably the best thing about Eid day is the food. There may be a special food that only comes around at Eid time at your house. At my house every Eid we have the standard Hyderabadi fare of kichri and kheema for breakfast, and sheer khorma, which is like a sweet soup thing with nuts and milk. Other South Asian dishes common on Eid are biryani, samosas, or haleem.

The Family: Eid is a great chance to reconnect with your family members. Unbearable and annoying as they may be, they are still family and that’s more important than anything. Any presents and Eid money you receive from said family members is an added bonus. Just keep smiling and bear through it. It’s Eid, be happy.

The day after Eid comes what is usually referred to as an “Eid Hangover” (not a literal one). You’ll sleep in and feel sluggish for most of the day, but if you play it right, you’ll also be left with happy memories and a significant increase in spending money. Eid Mubarak.

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