Bangladesh is a Muslim majority country. Therefore, the two Eids, Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ul-adha are two main festivals of the country. The happiness and joy of the Eid is spread to all the citizens of Bangladesh. Everyone, regardless of their religion enjoy the Eid festivals. Bangladeshi’s enjoy three to four days of public holidays during each Eid festivals.
This is the largest religious festival for Muslims. Eid-ul-Fitr comes on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal, after the month of Ramadan. The whole month of Ramadan Muslims fasts and does special prayers a lot for the satisfaction of Allah. Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan.
This is the second most important religious festival of Muslims in Bangladesh. People also call it “Qurbani Eid” in here. This is the 10th day of jill-hajj, the 12th month of Islamic calendar. This festival is to commemorate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (a) to sacrifice his son as an act of submission to Allah’s command. Bangladeshi Muslims sacrifice their domestic animals like cows and goats during the Eid-ul-adha.
The main difference between Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha are the Ramadan and the Qurbani or sacrifice of domestic animals. Otherwise the celebrations are similar in many ways.
Preparation of Eid: The Joy of Eid starts long before with shopping. People buy new dresses for themselves, their families, friends and fore families. Punjabi is the most favorite dress during Eid for men. For women, its shari and salwar kamiz. Eid gift is very traditional in the country as well.
Specially in the Eid-ul-Adha there are Animal Huts at the renowned open places (Like fields etc) of the country, people buy animals from there for Qurbani.
Sending Eid Cards: This is a very old tradition of Bangladesh. People sends Eid cards before the Eid to their friends and relatives. Children are usually more enthusiast to present Eid greeting cards to their friends and cousins. Before Eid, temporary Eid cards and sticker shops are seen everywhere on the streets, children buy cards in cheap form there. Now a day’s peoples are using social network or online technology to send virtual EID greeting cards.
Going home: Peoples who usually come to live in the major cities for their profession goes to their home town or village to celebrate the festivals with their families, relatives and friends. No matter how long the distance is, going home is a must during the Eid for most. Every village home become full during this period. People gathers everywhere in the Streets and Bazars of the home town, they meet with their family, friends, relatives and neighbors, they may not have met for months or even years. They greet each other and embrace.
Specially from the Dhaka most people goes home during Eid. People have to book their bus, train or launch ticket long before the journey. All the transports become overloaded during then. The fare of the transport tend to rise in many cases in spite of government’s monitoring and restriction. Everyone is desperate to go back home. Despite all the troubles to arrange tickets and to go to home, festival starts immediately after reaching there. People forget the troubles when they meet their families and soulmates after some long.
Finding the new moon: Finding the new moon is another excitement during Eid-ul-Fitr. It brings suspense to everyone, because the Eid will happen next day if the moon is seen on the evening before. Everyone looks to the sky or eagerly waits to hear the news that the moon is seen anywhere in the country. The joys knows no bound if the moon is seen that evening. This night is called “Chand Raat.” If the moon is not seen in the ‘chand raat’, Eid will be held one day later.
Coloring hands with mehendi: Girls and kids color their hands with ‘mehendi’ (hena leaves) before the Eid day. Girls gather to their senior family members or relatives, who can beautifully color their hands with mehendi. Kids become crazy to when the coloring is done. They compete with each other on deepness of the color.
Eid Day: In the Eid Day many people goes to graves of their relatives, specially parents to pray for them. Some people go to graves after the Eid prayer. Before the prayer people give a charity known as fitra. Many people distribute Zakat (donations) before the Eid prayer.
In the morning people take a bath, wear new dresses and go to Eid prayer. They gather at Eidgahs (Special places for Eid prayer) to pray. There are many Eidgahs in each cities, but most people try to gather to tha main Eidgah of the city to be part of the biggest gathering in the town and pray to the almighty.
People hug each other and exchange greetings after the prayer. This trend continues during the whole period of Eid, when they meet friends and relatives first time. The juniors do salam (greetings) to their elders and elders bless them with ‘Eidi’ (new notes of money). Collecting Eidi is a very interesting part of the Eid celebration.
During the Eid-ul-Adha, Just after the prayer, wealthy people sacrifices domestic animals. This is called Qurbani (sacrifice). They distribute the meat among the poor , their relatives and neighbors. The half of the day, people remains very busy processing and distributing meats. The less wealthy people also take part in the festivity by visiting wealthy people’s house and help them in Qurbani.
Special Foods of EID: This is Sunnah of taking sweet food before the Eid prayer. ‘Semai’ is a common food of Eid. Women prepare delicious noodles, pasta, chotpoti, Halim, biriyani, kebab, polao rice, roasts, and curry on the Eid day. Meat curry and khichuri is very famous during Eid-ul-Adha. Many people eat special parata with meat curry of the sacrificed animals. They also prepare many other sweets or special foods along with those common ones as per their ability.
Eid Celebration: In the afternoon everyone with their all the family members go to their relatives or neighbor’s house wearing new cloths. Everyone remains ready to welcome the guest. They serve the prepared foods to the guests. People celebrate the day by visiting the parks, meeting their friends and walking on the streets. Many people go to restaurant with their friends and family in the evening. Children remains very keen to go to the amusement parks in the city. Lots of movie lovers go to cinema halls or theaters to watch the newly released movies. People also watch Eid special serials on TV at home. All local TV channels air special programs, funny serials, and short films for several days during the occasion.
The Eid celebration lasts from three days to a week. After the Eid people return to their profession and live the life as usual and starts waiting for the next Eid.
(All the photos used in this post were collected from internet.)
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