The holy month of fasting for Muslims around the globe, Ramadan, is coming to a close. After around 29-30 days of fasting, the culmination of Ramadan comes in the form of a grand feast and celebration, better known as Eid ul-Fitr. However, this year, the spirit of both the holy month and now Eid seems to have been dampened by the ongoing lockdowns around the world on account of the coronavirus pandemic. Every year Muslims celebrate Eid by going for the community Eid namaz where thousands congregate to pray together, by preparing massive feasts, visiting their friends and family, exchanging gifts or giving Eidi (some money or gifts) to those who are younger, and sometimes older, than them, buying new clothes, getting all dressed up, applying henna, and much more. However, this year all of the social aspects of both Ramadan and Eid have come to halt. This year the month of Shawaal will begin with the sighting of the crescent moon which will be on the 23rd for most Gulf and other countries, while the 24th for India. Which means Eid will be celebrated on May 25 in most parts of India. However, given that the Coronavirus pandemic and resulting lockdowns have forced people to be homebound, stay at a distance from their loved ones and unable to congregate to pray, the spirits this year are a little low. But there is always a way to put a positive spin on even the saddest of situations. Here are some ways in which you can celebrate Eid, have plenty of fun, while also practising social distancing and respecting the lockdown.
If henna is hard to source, a brown sketch pen leaves the same tint as that of henna, as does concentrate red food colouring. Apply basics henna designs to yourself and your loved ones, so what if this year you couldn’t hire the best henna artist, channel your inner artist and brighten up the spirits of Eid. After all, isn’t Ramadan and Eid all about making the most of life with what we have?
Stranded away from your family and friends? Well, maybe you won’t be able to feed them with your hands, but we don’t live in the Dark Ages anymore. Pick up that phone and a plate of biryani and get on a virtual phone call with your loved ones, you can even get on a Zoom call and speak, eat with multiple people. It can be your own virtual Eid party.
Pray at home
The Indian Government and most leading Islamic organisations across the world have directed people to pray at home and not congregate at mosques. While this may seem a bit depressing, it is worth it. Your family and your own safety is very important, and given the present circumstances, by putting the safety of other’s before your own is also an act of kindness. Organise your own jamaat with your family, and pray together. This will surely lift everyone’s spirits.
While lockdown restrictions have been eased in certain parts of the country, let us not forget that the number of Coronavirus cases in on the rise. Do not get carried away, even if you do meet your own neighbours do not hug them if you get food parcels at home, make sure to sanitize them. Use hand santizers, face masks and sanitize surfaces at all times.
Cook up a storm, a healthy storm
Since this year you won’t have a barrage of guests coming over to your house, you can stick to cooking smaller, healthier meals for yourself, and if you are staying with family then for them as well. Staples like Biryani and Sheer Korma are a must, but make sure you drink plenty of juices and water to beat the summer heat this time around. Also have more nuts and immunity boosting foods as the entire month of eating in moderation may have lowered your immunity.
Help around at home
This is for those who are staying with their parents, or for those better halves who don’t like household chores. With the number of delicacies being made on Eid day, the number of chores and dishes is bound to go up as well. So take a lesson from your Ramadan and be more kind and compassionate, helping those who are running around doing all the housework, mostly our mothers.
Ramadan and Eid are all about Zakaat (charity), so while you may feel sad about not having new clothes or being able to meet your friends, don’t forget that there are those who don’t even have enough food to break their fast, or any money to even be able to take their families back home. Ensure that you do not have anything in excess while others suffer, share your resources with the needy. Give rations, clothes, toys, food and more to those around you who seem like they are in need. If one can do more, one always should. Helping others always automatically lifts up one’s spirits.
Just because you didn’t buy new clothes and aren’t going to be able to meet your friends and family doesn’t mean you don’t dress up. Make the most of the festival by wearing the best outfit in your wardrobe. Dressing up is scientifically known to elevate one’s mood, after all if you dress better, you feel better.