As the chirping birds serenade the morning sky, and you wake up to the smell of freshly baked bread bursting through every room in the house. As you shower, pick out your best abayah or thobe for the mosque and are greeted by hugs and handshakes from friendly strangers. As you come home to a feast – breakfast, lunch, and supper. As you embrace family and friends like long lost lovers. As you snap a million pictures in your best attire. As you see the streets lined with children going door to door to fill their pockets for the reward of fasting an entire month. As you are sent into the early hours of the morning, laughing, eating, and reminiscing. You know, this is Eid.
The Coronavirus pandemic has changed the way we live and interact. Many of the outdoor activities we are accustomed to have had to be adjusted or completely put on hold, and for the over a billion Muslims around the world, Eid this year is no exception.
Muslims have two Eid’s or ‘big holidays’ on their Islamic Calendar, with the most notable one being the Eid that is celebrated immediately after the holy month of Ramadaan: Muslims abstain from food, drink, sinful acts and are engulfed in a spiritual cleanse for this entire month. The holiday is glittered with red-carpet-like attire, an abundance of delicious food and sweet treats, laughter and a day spent with friends and family.
However, as most of the world is under quarantine and adhering to strict social distancing, Eid too will not be celebrated as it usually is. But that doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate – here we have laid out how to do Eid differently, given the current situation.
Spice up your home
Nothing says “celebration” more than décor. Usually, for Muslims in the Cape, the night before Eid is spent hanging curtains, swapping out everyday bedding for the fancier, often silk-lined ones with intricate embroidery, all in the name of impressing whoever steps through the doors the next day.
Getting into the Eid spirit means looking the part as well – bring out old décor from previous parties or celebrations, or even challenge yourself to get creative and DIY some pieces using paper, ribbon and whatever else you have at home. Remember to bring out your best crockery and cutlery for a truly royal experience. Don’t let social distancing stop you from decorating your home.
Red carpet ready
Besides the food, the best thing about Eid is getting all dolled up. Visiting friends and family may be hard this year, but that doesn’t mean you have to be in your pyjamas all day (unless of course it’s the fancy, silky kind).
Though most people will not be buying a new outfit this Eid, you can still whip together a new, fashionable look by going shopping in your very own closet. Scour through your wardrobe and fall in love with some of those forgotten gems: mix and match pieces you haven’t worn together before or get inspiration from Pinterest. If you really want to have a brand-new outfit, shopping online is your best bet, with many stores offering a wide range of sale items. Better yet, you can change outfits throughout the day.
P.S. Make sure to buy versatile pieces that can be worn again and styled in various ways.
I love you, from a distance
Another major loss this year is La Familia. Eid is all about reuniting with distant family, having laughs and sharing moments with loved ones. Although we can’t physically experience that this year, there’s nothing stopping you from keeping in touch. Why not set up video Eid parties on Skype or Zoom? This way, you can still be together whilst being safe. If you really want to make it feel like Eid, plan the video calls around mealtimes so you can share what each other is eating and have a laugh over good food.
In South Africa, and in many parts of the world, the Eid salaah (which marks the day) will not be held in the mosque. Rather, gather your household and have your own Eid salaah, throwing in a naseeha as well – if you live alone, this can still be done too.
But wait, what happens to the money children get on Eid? Well, you could save it for them until you are reunited, or deposit it into their parents account. Better yet, donate it to charity as many are struggling due to the global pandemic.
Pictures, Pictures, and more pics!
Don’t forget to document your day so you can share it with friends, family, social media or keep it for the history books (lol). If you live in a family household, take pics together – make an event out of it! Better yet, if you’ve got a garden or backyard, why not stage it as a backdrop for your pics?!
Finally, remember we can still be together and united even though we are distances apart.
We at GirlOnTheBus wish all of our Muslim readers, families and friends a wonderful Eid Mubarak! We hope that each and every one of you has a fantastic day, filled with joy and blessings, and that it is as memorable as the years before (and those yet to come).