India is said to have a myriad of religions, cultures and races. Among the various religions that dot the Indian canvas, the Islam occupies an important place as it has a significant following. The Muslims celebrate several festivals, Eid-ul-Fitr being the most important of them. This festival is popularly known as Mithi Eid (the sweet Eid or the feast of embrace).
Eid marks the end of Ramzan, the Islamic month of fasting. During it, the Muslims observe fast from morning till sunset. Fasting during this month is believed to lead to purity of mind and soul. On the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, a community feast is held with all Muslims wishing each other ‘Eid Mubarak’, sharing meals and giving gifts to the poor. It is also believed that the holy book of Quran was revealed on this day, making this festival a special occasion for the Muslims.
On the day of Eid, the Muslims wake up early in the morning, take a shower, wear new clothes and apply perfume before going to the mosque to offer Eid prayers. It is forbidden to fast on this day, so everyone eats a breakfast of dates before leaving for the Eid prayers at the local Idgah. After the prayers, many people visit the graveyards of their near and dear ones to offer prayer for their salvation. It is also common to visit friends, relatives and neighbours to share sweets, snacks and special meals made especially for this day. Special celebratory dishes include Sewain, a dish of vermicelli noodles with milk and dry fruit. Many non-Muslims too join the Muslim friends and neighbours on this occasion to convey their good wishes.
Eid-ul-Fitr is a festival of rejoicing. It marks the beginning of a new life for the Muslims after a period of self-control and fast. It brings closer and binds people together. It upholds the principle of universal brotherhood. In a world marred by communalism, fanaticism, and parochialism, a festival of this type can bring about much social harmony and feeling of brotherhood among people.