One of the biggest celebrations of the Islamic calendar is about to commence. Eid al-Fitr commences at the end of the week and worldwide billions of Muslims are preparing for the end of the month-long Ramadan fast. Whether you’re traveling home for Eid or just happen to be vacationing abroad, it’s easy to join in the festivities no matter where you find yourself this weekend.
In this island nation, Eid al-Fitr is also known as Lebaran. Celebrations include elaborate parades featuring lanterns and floats decorated in the Islamic style. One such parade in Yogyakarta features fire dancers! Don’t forget to try the Ketupat, a dumpling made of rice and housed in a woven palm leaf pouch.
A relatively new event titled “Eid in Dubai” was started just nine years ago in 2008. Its purpose is to bring Muslims from all backgrounds and communities together. The celebration includes concerts by Majid al Muhandis and Mohammed Al Shehhi. Family events are especially popular and feature cartoon characters. The malls of Dubai have giveaways and prizes during Eid as well.
Whether you’re Muslim yourself or simply want to experience Eid, the Taj Mahal in Agra is the place to do it. Yes, it’s the quintessential Indian landmark, and it might seem cheesy, but the Taj actually has a mosque on site. It was built by the Mughal Emperor and he was Muslim, after all. At any rate, hundreds of worshippers will line the banks of the reflecting pools to pray. The site is open for free all day and after prayers and well-wishing, the Tajganj area south of the Taj Mahal has a wonderful market for purchasing Eid gifts, food, and new clothing. (It’s customary to buy a new set of clothes for the occasion.)
This year, Eid al-Fitr is a five-day celebration for Egyptians – two days longer than the typical three days of merriment. If you happen to be in Egypt for Eid 2017, make sure to stop by the bakeries. Traditional food for Eid includes sweets since harsh fasting month of Ramadan is coming to an end. The Egyptian specialty is the “Kahk,” a cookie filled with nuts and covered with powdered sugar.
In the Muslim portions of the country, Durbar festivals are the highlight of Eid. The Durbar is a display of horsemanship, parades, martial art skills, and galloping horse-riding formations. Cities in which you can witness Durbar festivals include Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Zaria, and Bida.