The Muslim holiday of Eid is a celebration to mark the end of the Holy month of fasting, Ramadan. The occasion is all about celebrating one’s blessings with family and friends, feasts, music and parties. The festivities start from the night of the last fast and continue for three days. Every country has its own tradition of Eid. However, for those, staying abroad, way from home, family and their culture, Eid is a different experience all together.
They make sure to gather together and have fun, throw parties and enjoy the best they can at the same time, keeping up the traditions, but it’s not always easy. Back home, Eid is a holiday, in Non Muslim countries, however, unless Eid falls on a weekend, the day usually goes on like any other day.
We asked a few people living away from their homes what their Eid abroad is like. They shared our experiences with us, each making the best of what they have, a home away from home, and here’s what they had to say:
I was born in Egypt but I grew up in Saudi Arabia. My summer internship brings me to Karachi, Pakistan. The people here are very hospitable and the city is a lot like Cairo in the sense that people go out a lot at night.
On Eid I am planning on joining my best friend Minha (who also grew up with me in Saudi) along with her family while they hit the town on 'Chaand Raath' (the night before Eid). So far, Henna painting is on the agenda for the night as well as the traditional feasting that is planned on Eid day.
I am looking forward to the Eid feast that is special to Pakistani cuisine.
I live in London & I go to the mosque in the morning for Eid prayers and afterwards, celebrate the day with my extended family. My maternal side of the family lives in London and it’s just on these kinds of festivals we come across each other otherwise we are all very busy on our lives. I normally don’t cook on Eid. If we are not visiting family then we go out to have nice family dinner. Obviously Eid is not as special here as it is back home but as a parent I try my level best to make that kind of atmosphere for my kids. Food wise we all love to have traditional food- Sheer Khorma (Sweet vermicelli) in the morning and afterwards a nice but not so healthy meal, usually made in a lot of oil and spices.
As I said I do try to make it as special as I can for the kids but I think they will never know the true sense of Eid unless they are back home with their nana nano (maternal grandparents) or dada dadi (paternal grandparents).
I live in Los Angeles. I celebrate Eid with lots and lots of food! We have Mashallah a huge Muslim population here who is not just very devoted but also very involved with local mosques and community events. So there are lots of Ramadan festivities as well.
This Eid I want to go to Florida but can’t take that much time off from work
It’s on a weekday.. I am going to take day off. Pray in the morning, have lunch with friends in the afternoon and then dinner at a family friend’s place.
I live in Dubai. But since my parents are here in Abu Dhabi, I go to their house at chand raat (the night before Eid) and then go for Eid prayers with my father and younger brother. It’s then breakfast time. Mostly people just call each other up and answer their messages (SMS, Whattsapp, bbm etc) and then go to sleep.
We usually have either family friends invited for lunch or we are invited to their place. In the evening we mostly go out, take the kids to park or movies. The dinner is always with family and close friends.
I live in London and celebrate with my family as they live here. I Will Insha’Allah have an Eid lunch to celebrate with lots of food, kids running around and the works! Unfortunately because Eid day is a working day we will celebrate over the weekend. On the day itself we will pray and make sure we eat well and dress a little bit, just to feel the Eid vibe!
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I live in Pakistan but I'm visiting my dad for Eid in Saudi Arabia. Normally I would say Eid away from your country is pretty sad. Chaand raat (the night before Eid)isn't as happening as back home. The last minute visits to the tailor or getting duppattas (stoles) dyed just add up to the thrill of it all.
But since for the past couple of years I've been celebrating Eid either without one or both of my parents and I think I chose to celebrate it in the dull Saudi environment with my parents rather than the happening lights of Karachi. Eid is all about family after all.
We get up in the morning of Eid go for the Eid prayers so that's kind of fun because you get to meet up with every single person you know in town! Then there's usually breakfast at someone's place and then a grand Eid dinner in the evening.
For the next three days, people will visit you or the other way around. And that's about it.
I live in Cheshire, UK. Its not much of a celebration as this year Eid is on a weekday so my husband will be at work. So really, there are no Eid festivities to speak of.
When I was studying in Singapore, however, I was blessed with some wonderful friends. Though there was only one friend who was a Muslim, my Hindu and Buddhist friends also used to come over to have Sahoor (Pre fast meal) and Iftaar (meal for breaking fast) with us. It was the same for Eid; my friends would all get up in the morning with us, wear their nicest clothes and helped us prepare our Eid breakfast. It was always fun and exciting. So even though I wasn't with my family, I never felt alone there.