Muslims Mark Eid Al Fitr With Traditional Recipes And Prayers

Muslims Mark Eid Al Fitr With Traditional Recipes And Prayers

The Ramadan fast ended on Monday as Muslims around the world enjoyed Eid Al Fitr celebrations.

The festive ritual lasts for three days. Traditionally, families prepare heritage recipes and meet loved ones for early prayers and gatherings in parks.

Children and adults also wear new clothes to observe Eid.

The celebrations will be welcome after two years of subdued festivities amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Life has returned to normal in many countries after governments eased restrictions following vaccination campaigns to fight a new wave of infections caused by virus variants.

In Saudi Arabia, Eid was marked with fireworks across the country.

After Isha, or the last prayer of the day, people went out to buy sweets and Eid gifts and shop for the celebrations.

Shopping malls and public places played traditional Eid music.

“The excitement and feeling is palpable wherever you go, from the streets to shopping centers or along the Corniche. Everyone plays Eid songs and it is the most joyous festival for children who are excited about their Eid gifts and adults who can dress up for the next three days and meet their family and friends in a grand celebration,” said Lamar Alsayeed, a Saudi living in Jeddah.

Across the Middle East, Eid is often welcomed with sweet and filled pastries called kahk and mahmoul. In Southeast Asia, it is marked with steamed rice served with rich meat dishes and desserts.

In the Lebanese capital Beirut, hundreds of people performed Eid Al Fitr prayers outside the Al Amin mosque. They braved the financial collapse and economic catastrophe their country was experiencing, which left many citizens unable to make ends meet.

But this year’s Eid falls in the shadow of a surge in global food prices, which has been hit hard in Ukraine after the war by countries that depend on imports of wheat and other culinary necessities such as sunflower oil and dairy products.

Higher food prices have contributed to a broader rise in inflation, adding to the economic hardship for poor populations and the needy.

Hampered by budgetary pressures, most Middle Eastern families are used to cooking at home, with favorites such as Eid cookies. Proud home cooks often share photos on social media of their delectable freshly baked orange and sugar-dusted cookies.

Many people are determined not to let the high prices dampen the Eid spirit.

“Come and try the best kahk you can ever have. It’s tastier than the expensive ones in bakeries and supermarkets,” Somia, an Egyptian woman, said on Instagram about her mother’s kahk recipe.

Palestinian women in Gaza and the occupied West Bank are also competing to display their traditional dates and nut-filled cookies on the occasion of Eid.

In Iraq, security concerns are accompanied by celebrations. Authorities have closed a number of lively streets to vehicles, including the capital’s famous Al Mutanabi Street on the banks of the Tigris River.

The street with its book and souvenir shops and iconic balconies, a symbol of Iraq’s cultural and intellectual life, has undergone extensive renovation, while retaining its identity.

Women attend Eid Al Fitr prayers in Yogyakarta, Indonesia.  Getty Images

In Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim country, tens of thousands attended prayers Monday morning at Southeast Asia’s largest mosque.

The Istiqlal Mosque in the Indonesian capital Jakarta was closed when Islam’s holiest period coincided with the start of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020, and was closed for communal prayers last year.

“Words cannot describe how happy I am today. After two years, we were separated by the pandemic. Today we can do Eid prayer together again,” said Epi Tanjung, a resident of Jakarta AP

In Afghanistan, people are celebrating the first Eid since the Taliban takeover, when it overthrew a US-backed government in August amid grim security and economic conditions.

Frequent explosions marred the period leading up to Eid. These include deadly bombings, most of which were claimed by an ISIS affiliate known as ISIS-K. These attacked ethnic Hazaras, who are mostly Shia, leaving many of them questioning whether it was safe to attend Eid prayers at mosques.

“We want to show our resistance, that they can’t push us away,” community leader Bakr Saeed said before Eid. “We’re moving forward.”

AP contributed to this story from Indonesia and Afghanistan.

Updated: May 02, 2022, 8:54 AM

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