Eid Al-Fitr عـيـد الـفِــطر Posted by Fisal on Aug 29, 2011 in Arabic Language, Culture, Vocabulary
Tomorrow is the day of Eid. E’id Al-Fitr عيد الفطر , often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan; the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). Eid عيد is an Arabic word meaning “festivity,” while Fiṭr فِطر means “breaking (the fast)”. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the thirty days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The first day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month Shawwaal that follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. E’id is the day of the reward جائزة after the hard work, devotion and worship during the whole month of Ramadan, so the whole community should share the happiness.
Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated for three days. Common greetings during this holiday are the Arabic greeting ‘Eid Mubārak عيد مُبارك (“Blessed Eid”) or ‘Eid Sa‘eed عيد سعيد (“Happy Eid”). In addition, many countries have their own greetings based on local language and traditions.
Eid Al-Fitr is a three-day feast and an official holiday in Egypt with vacations for schools, universities and government offices. Some stores and restaurants are also closed during Eid.
The Eid day starts with a few dates بلح followed by Eid prayers in congregation attended by men, women and children in which the Islamic people remind Egyptians of the virtues and good deeds they should do unto others, even strangers, during Eid and throughout the year. Afterwards, neighbors, friends and relatives أقارب start greeting one another. Family visits زيارات are considered a must on the first day of the Eid, so they have the other two days to enjoy by going to parks الحدائق , cinemas السينمات , theatres المسارح or the beaches الشواطئ . Some like to go on tours or a Nile cruise.
Children are normally given new clothes to wear throughout the Eid. Also, women (particularly mothers, wives, sisters and daughters) are commonly given special gifts by their loved ones. It is customary for children to also receive a Eidiyyah عيديه from their adult relatives. This is a small sum of money that the children receive and is used to spend on all their activities throughout the Eid. Children will wear their new clothes and go out to amusement parks, gardens حدائق or public courtyards based on how much their Eidiyyah affords. The amusement parks can range from the huge ones on the outskirts ضواحي of Cairo-Nile, Felucca Nile rides is one common feature of Eid celebration in Egyptian villages, towns and cities.
The families gatherings involve cooking and eating all kinds of Egyptian food like Fattah, but the item most associated with Eid al-Fitr is Kah’k كحك (singular = Kah’ka كحكة) which are cookies filled with nuts and covered with powdered sugar. Egyptians either bake it at home or buy it in the bakery. Thus, a bakery crowded in the last few days of Ramadan with Kah’k buyers is a common scene. TV in Egypt celebrates Eid too, with a continuous marathon of movies as well as programs featuring live interviews from all over Egypt of both public figures and everyday citizens مواطنين , sharing their Eid celebrations.
For a lot of families from working neighborhoods, the Eid celebration also means small mobile neighborhood rides, much like a neighborhood carnival. In a lot of neighborhood courtyards, kids also gather around a storyteller, a puppeteer or a magician mesmerized by Egyptian folktales or by a grownup’s sleight of hand. It is also customary for kids to rent decorated bikes to ride around town. Egyptians like to celebrate with others so the streets are always crowded مزدحم during the days and nights of Eid.
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Peace سلام /Salam/
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