Aesha Lorenz Al-Saeed: Eed Celebrations Worldwide
Unique Eed Celebrations Worldwide
By Aesha Lorenz Al-Saeed
Muslims are celebrating Eed in many countries in the world, in their own unique way, but also have the main Eed customs in common.
IN SAUDI ARABIA people dress in their nice clothes, or new thobes or pajamas, and go out for the Eed prayer about 7:00 in the morning. Afterwards they return home and sleep for a few hours, then dress to go have lunch in the oldest relatives home. There they exchange Eediya’s of money and gifts.
After lunch there would be a short rest, then more Eed visits starting from about 5 pm. Visiting children receive money and candy, while adults are served Arabic coffee, dates, chocolates and other sweets. Eed visits are short, usually not more than 20 minutes or half an hour at each place.
Later in the evening people either pay more visits, host visitors, or take the children out to amusement parks, the beach, or malls.
IN JORDAN most people return home after the Eed prayer, and then sleep for maybe an hour. They then gather at the parents home, or the oldest relative, and have a special Eed breakfast.
“The Eed breakfast in Jordan is not the usual one with humus type appetizers, but is the ‘mualaq’ which is fried liver, lungs and heart of the sheep which was slaughtered for the holiday,” explained Deema Om Hamza.
“After breakfast everyone wears their new Eed clothing and goes visiting sisters and brothers, relatives, neighbors, and friends.”
Another Jordanian lady said that they used to display their new outfits with all the accessories on their beds before Eed and see who had the nicest, or what remained to be bought.
Eediya’s are exchanged, which is money, mostly to children or dependant females, and gifts during the visits. After visiting, families take their children out to places with swings such as parks and playgrounds.
IN SYRIA people gather in the biggest house first to eat and give each other gifts. “Swings are put up only for Eed in the streets in the neighborhoods,” explained Hadeeya, from Damascus.
A few days before Eed the ladies make the traditional cookies to serve for Eed which are ma’moul, a cookie filled with date center, and baraza’, a thin sesame seed cookie.
The best thing in Eed she says is visiting people whom you may not have been able to see recently.
IN IRAQ the celebrations are similar to Syria and Jordan. The housewives make three or four kilos of a traditional cookie called Khalayja, which is hollow inside, but spread with black lemon and spices. It is served with Turkish coffee and tea. Everyone makes homemade juices also to serve their guests.
There is usually a dhabeeha or slaughtering of a sheep, and people try to arrange to have wedding ceremonies also on Eed.
People also often go on picnics to parks or rivers.
IN UNITED ARAB EMIRATES after the prayer the men go visit the neighbors and collect each neighbor with them when they go on to the next house. Soon there may be ten or twelve men all making visits at one time. Arabic coffee, Khalayja and ma’moul are the popular cookies.
“Children also go door to door receiving sweets in their pretty Eed clothes,” Bedriya told Saudi Gazette.
IN EGYPT everyone goes to the prayer and then makes visits,” said Fayza Ahmed. She said sweets, chocolates, nuts and ma’moul are popular to serve in Eed. The visits and celebrations last for three days.
IN AMERICA Eed is a bit different, since there may not be a big enough mosque to hold all the worshippers. So, the prayer may be held in a park, rented hall, or university ballroom.
“Everyone wears their finest new Eed clothes to the prayer. Then children get gifts of money and candy. There may be a potluck meal in the park, where everyone has brought a dish to share, or a catered meal at the university, or even a get together in someone’s home. You visit everyone you know, and take the kids out somewhere fun to play,” said Jehan.
IN PAKISTAN people from villages have special speakers come to give an Eed sermon. Everyone enjoys their new clothes, and visits each other eating plenty of traditional sweets, such as barfee.
IN INDONESIA, people visit each other also in their new clothes, and people have set in their homes tables brimming with sweets and edible delicacies. The Eed visits are a happy time for young and old.