Saturday, October 3, 2009

Eid Visits

Last Eid-al-Fitr I was in India, so I missed out on all the festivities (like The Hawk eating a cow's eyeball . . .my husband is so burly).  I was really excited to be here since everyone talks about how awesome and festive Eid time is.  And I have to say, Eid lives up to the hype.

Eid-al-Fitr means "The Festival of the breaking of the fast."  It celebrates the end of the holy month of Ramadan during which Muslims fast during daylight hours.  And as it's a fast breaking celebration, it's implied that there is a lot of eating involved, I mean a lot.  Afghans can put a serious hurting on a plate of rice.  Imagine what they can do after a month of fasting.

From Eid Visits

From Eid Visits

From Eid Visits

From Eid Visits

Another key ingredient of Eid is visiting friends and family.  The holiday is 3 days long to give one day for family and two days for visiting.  Visits can be planned or unplanned, so everyone is prepared with a room full of sweets, fruit, and tea.  The idea behind the sweets is that it is a sweet reward for keeping the fast.  We did some visiting, had some visits, and drank enough tea that I am now on an unofficial tea fast.  And we were so busy with our visits, we actually had one spill over to this weekend.

From Eid Visits

From Eid Visits

Another fun part of Eid is the Eid-ees (or Eidies or Eideys, not sure how to spell it).  Kids are given crisp new Afs (Afghan currency) to buy Eid treats with.  Some kids rake it in as they collect from all the places their parents drag them along to.  I'm pretty sure all of them buy toy guns or kites with them.  Although when our 3 year old neighbor was given 50 Afs ($1), she held it up in the air and screamed "CHEWING GUM!!!" in her little Swiss German accent.

From Eid Visits

From Eid Visits

I think a large part of why Eid is so fun is that everyone is relaxed and happy.  As you can imagine, a nation full of fasting people means a nation full of people on edge.  I want to see a study of how many car accidents happen during Ramadan.  Everyone is a little grumpy and a little tired (and they do things like show you their tongue or point out how dry their lips are to prove their fasting).  So when that's all over, everyone is full of food and generally cheery.  It makes for a happy Afghanistan.

2 comments:

Jacob and Carlee Loya said...

Great post, Julie. the pictures were awesome. what food is in the picture above the rice? and who are these little children, they are very sweet. understatement of the week: i like your blog & i like your words & i like your life.
ox C

Julie said...

Thanks Carlee! You keep me blogging! The food above the rice is called Mantu, it's a little dumpling with meat and goodness (I had a label on it, but it disappeared. Such is life with slow internet). These particular Mantu are probably the best in the country. And the kids are the children of people we work with; they're all adorable and sweet. Thanks for the comment, you just made my day!