Monday 21 September 2009

Eid al-Fitr as the Muslim Christmas?

The Guardian has a very funny article by Musab Bora (of Mr Moo fame) about why Eid al-Fitr really isn't quite the Muslim Christmas:

"There are of course similarities. Like yuletide, Eid has turned into a glorious excuse for gluttony. Vast quantities of rich foods are consumed, as if to desperately make up for the moderation of the previous month. New clothes are worn and Eid decorations are hung. There was even a minor trend of sending Eid cards, before texting took over. As for Santa, we have no shortage of overdressed bearded men in flowing robes keeping odd hours and dispensing presents on Eid.

But unlike Christmas, for most Muslims the spiritual aspects of Eid have not diminished entirely. Mosques have their busiest day of the year, with the congregational prayers arranged in shifts to accommodate the extra worshippers. Then there are the traditions of giving charity to the poor, visiting the sick, paying respects to the dead and taking in folk who would otherwise have a lonely Eid

Eid will always be different from Christmas because Muslims are so different from each other, let alone from Christians. Despite the uncertain timing, logistics, excess and piety, fundamentally Eid is a celebration, and meant to be fun. Merry Eid-mas – whatever you are doing tomorrow, the day after, or whenever."

You can read the whole article here.

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