The air surrounded a flow of emotions in London. Muslims who have been offering their long prayers together for a month were ready to enjoy their Eid in multi-cultural London. Ramadan is a month in which Muslims are very generous as they give a lot of donations (zakah) and offer food to those who observe fast. After which Eid-ul-Fitr comes which briefly means “breaking of fast”.
Why is Eid-ul-Fitr celebrated?
The holy month of Ramadan is a month of fasting. In Ramadan 2013, Muslims fasted for 18-19 hours in London daily. The central message is of feeling what the poor feel when they do not have the money to buy food. However, Eid is more or less like a treat for Muslims because in Islam the act of fasting is precisely only for Allah (God).
How is Eid in Multi-cultural London?
London is known for its multi-cultural environment. Nobody feels alienated as London is the right bond between people from different religions, casts and countries. Even the Prime Minister Mr. David Cameron played an excellent role as he went to a Masjid during Ramadan, fried and ate pakoras (a traditional snack of Muslims). In addition, Islam is in majority because there are more than 607,803 Muslims in London and though the celebration is huge.
How do Muslims celebrate Eid in multi-cultural London?
Mostly, at this particular event Muslims start their day by offering Eid prayers. After which they meet their relatives and exchange gifts and sweets. Additionally, this Eid is traditionally known as “sweet Eid” and people eat dishes such as Sawaean, Kheer, Ras Malai, Methae, Trifle, Sweet Fruit Chat, Lab-e-sheereen, Halwa and so on. Furthermore, some Muslims like to celebrate their Eid at home and some go out at different events, restaurants, concerts, theaters and so on.
This year there were two Eid festivals as few people celebrated Eid on 8th of August 2013. On the other hand, few celebrated Eid-ul-Fitr on 9th of August 2013. Simultaneously, there were uncountable events going on in London. Out of them, the major one was celebration at Trafalgar Square as people were encouraged to come and enjoy the global cuisine. The function started at 12:30 am many artists were called and face painting added colour to the event.
On the other hand, many went out to watch Bollywood movies especially people from Pakistani, India, Nepal and Bengal. One of the movies named as, “Chenni Express” broke all records as it was released on Eid and it was difficult to get a single ticket of that movie as the hilarious lines used, removed all the tensions of people.
Attitude of other people towards Eid in multi-cultural London:
London emulsifies the background of people pretty well. So, if the friends of Muslims are non-Muslims even then they celebrate Eid blissfully with them. Recently, a Sikh friend helped his Muslim friend in London with all his work because he thought he is fasting and needs rest. This type of emotional yet sweet incidents can only be encountered in multicultural London.