Crowded masjids and strings of twinkling lights hanging from restaurants and houses alike signal that the final ten days of Ramadan are well underway and Eid al-Fitr is quickly approaching. Soon, Muslims around the world will gather to partake in the festivities. This year, Eid al-Fitr in Jordan will last from Wednesday, June 13, to Saturday, June 16.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Shawal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar. On the first day of Eid, Muslims will often eat a date to signal the end of the 29-30 day period of fasting. They will then head off to participate in the Eid prayer, which is usually held outdoors. In Amman, many parks and other green spaces will be transformed for this use. After the prayer, everyone will gather to spend the day with family and friends, eat foods unique to Eid, and hand out Eidi (gifts given to children on Eid).
Nadia, a CRP beneficiary, first arrived in Jordan from Iraq five years ago. Although Nadia is separated from her extended family in Iraq, she will travel across Amman throughout the day with her sister and parents to be with friends for Eid celebrations.
It is traditional for those observing to purchase new clothes to wear to both the prayer and the subsequent festivities. Those who are in the position to are also encouraged to pay alms (zakat al-fitr), which allow the less fortunate to be able to partake in Eid celebrations. This alms giving keeps with the themes of social harmony and togetherness that characterize Eid.
The night before Eid, Nadia will take what is called the “Eid shower,” before putting on a new pair of pajamas. The next morning, she will wear her new clothes and perform the Eid prayer. After the prayer, she will join her sister and parents to eat a traditional Eid breakfast. Then, they will visit friends to make Eid pastries, which contain flour, dates, and pistachios.
“We also usually cook a traditional lunch or dinner using a recipe from Baghdad,” says Nadia. “Eid al-Fitr is very wholesome, and is about togetherness and family.”
CRP is closed for Eid al-Fitr and will reopen on Sunday, June 24th.