Eid-it Mubarak! Roza wa namaz-it kabool! Dah khili Haajia Ghazia!
Upon entering the homes of relatives, these warm, familiar, and welcoming phrases are excitedly exchanged between Afghan families during Eid. Today marked the first day of Eid al-Fitr; the end of the month long fast Ramadan. During this holy holiday we visit family members and friends over the course of three days. “In Afghanistan,” my parents would recall, “all the stores, banks, shops, etc., were closed during Eid. It is a holiday reserved for spending time with family, friends, and celebrating the end of Ramadan.” For Eid, we buy new clothes, visit family, and prepare for guests by making sure we have a ton of sweets!
On the first day, it’s custom to visit the eldest relatives like your grandparents, older uncles, aunts, etc. But before that, we visit the Mosque for the morning prayer. On the second day, you visit other family and friends; and lastly, on the third day you stay at home an await guests to be flooding to your house! Since Afghan families are quite big and there’s not enough time to visit so many relatives within three days, your guests usually stay for fifteen to twenty minutes; which is why we offer tons of sweets and cakes with tea during Eid to guests since they won’t be staying long for lunch or dinner.
Also during Eid, the adults give money to the young kids. On the first day of Eid your parents are usually the first to give you your “Eid-i” aka Eid money :)
All in all, now that I think about it, Eid is kind of like Christmas but without the hassle of giving gifts. The gift we give one another is priceless–it’s to forgive and forget. Whatever argument or dispute you had with your enemy you try to push it aside during the time of Eid and start fresh, because Ramadan is all about patience and forgiveness and so you should forgive your enemies and celebrate the holy holiday with them. Visit your enemies, let bygones be bygones and start fresh.
By the way, today August 19th marked the 93rd anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence from Britain. A quick little interesting fact for ya there ;)
‘Till next time, peace & love,