Fast, Fair and Festivals of India Fast, Fair and Festivals of India
Falls on : 1st of Shawwal, Tenth Lunar month of the Islamic calendar.
Also known as : Id - ul - Fitr
Religion : Islam
Ramzan or Id-ul-Fitr is celebrated on the 1st of 'Shawaal', tenth lunar month of the Islamic calendar immediately after the month of Ramadan. 'Ramadan' is the name of one of the twelve months of the Muslim calendar year. It coincides with the months of October-November. Ramzan is a holy month for Muslims.
Ramzan means the 'festival of breaking the fast'. Fitr is derived from the word 'fatar' meaning 'breaking'. Another connotation suggests that it is derived from 'fitrah' or 'alms'. Certain Sunni Muslims believe that Fitr comes from 'Fitrat' meaning 'nature' and Id-ul-Fitr is the celebration of god's magnanimity in providing nature to man. Ramzan
They fast during the day throughout that month, even without drinking water. Pious men among them spend the day during the month in prayer and reading their holy book 'Quran'. They have their meal only at night. Some Muslims spend the twenty-first and twenty-second days of this month mourning in memory of Ali, the Prophet's son-in-law, who died in the cause of their religion.
The Muslims prepare a special dish for the Idd with milk and dates, which is called "Shir Khurma".
Muslims say their holy book came down from heaven to the earth one night during the last ten days of this month. When it came, the whole of creation praised Allah or God. It is also believed that Prophet Muhammad announced a day for celebrations to reaffirm the feeling of brotherhood.
On this day, according to the Quran, Allah has ordained a dole for every Muslim who is free and is in possession of alms worthy a Pital. This charitable gift, called "Sadaqah Fitr", is a dole to break the fast. It is to be given to a needy person as thanksgiving. Even One who has not kept the 'Rozas' (fasting) is expected to give alms. The amount to be gifted must be in excess of one's essential needs and free from all encumbrances of debt. Food grains or their costs are permitted to be donated. The Quran also specifies the grain and their quantities. A person should give 3.5 lb of wheat or its flour per head, or 7lb of barley per head or their cost.
The Festivity
In the morning everyone bathes, wears new or clean clothes, applies perfume, and eats dates or some other sweet before walking to the mosque for Id prayers. Men wear white clothes because white symbolises purity and austerity.
Special prayers are offered on the Id day and Muslims in the twin cities of Hyderabad and Secunderabad celebrate 'Ramzan' in the traditional manner by offering prayers in the mosques, and with the sacrifice of goats. It is an occasion of feasting and rejoicing. The faithful gather in mosques to pray, friends and relatives meet to exchange greetings. Prayers, family get-togethers and feasts are the major highlights of the celebrations. The family elders, conveying their blessings give 'Idi' or presents of money to the youngsters.
They believe that those who do not give alms on this day will not go to heaven after death. After offering alms, they go to the house of the 'Qazi' or the Chief Priest to request him to conduct the prayers. Then they all go together in procession to the chosen spot, and offer their prayers. After the congregational prayer, the Qazi speaks on religion, and finally prays to God to forgive them their sins and bless them all with health, wealth and prosperity.
At the end of the prayer, they return with the preacher back to his house. Later they visit their friends and relatives, have a feast and go shopping in the festive bazaar. Generally, Muslims express their goodwill for all on this day. They greet everyone with 'Id Mubarak', which means 'Happy Id'. Like followers of any other religion, Muslims also send Id greeting cards.
Even women in 'Purdah' attend the Namaz prayers in special chambers in the metropolitan cities. Women prepare sweets at home like 'Sevian', or vermicelli cooked in sweetened milk, which is very popular. People then go for 'Idmilans' (meeting friends and relatives). Some people visit cemeteries and stay there for many hours, often even camping out overnight. This is perhaps to honour their ancestors and to be with their spirits. To a devout Muslim, Id is a time to forget all past grievances.