For more than a billion Muslims, the fasting month of Ramadan ended with sunset on Wednesday.
Then the three-day celebration of Eid al-Fitr followed.
Due to the epidemic of the novel coronavirus, socializing on Eid was limited for the second year in a row.
Mass prayers at sunset were not allowed during Ramadan. Many Muslims have therefore replaced them with online prayers.
Although Muslims in Slovenia have a new mosque in Ljubljana, there was no mass prayer for Eid. They could only look forward to celebrations within the family circle at a richly laid table.
I asked my friend Mirisa, who came to Slovenia with her parents many years ago as a girl, how she celebrates Eid.
»My mother started making baklava on Tuesday.«
As her mother is the oldest in the family, she traditionally hosts all THE relatives for Eid lunch.
»She prepared tarhano soup, sarma, stuffed peppers, pies,« said Mirisa.
There is no Eid without baklava, and Mirisa’s mother also prepares beautiful dates and cakes. Turkish coffee is included. »Mom always drinks it from a cup, a small cup without a handle,« Mirisa explained.
They do not drink alcoholic beverages, so her mother serves juice she makes herself.
Is Eid as important a family holiday for Muslims as Christmas is for Christians?
»Yes, we look forward to Eid the same as Christmas. We all dress nicely. Children receive money or other gifts. My mother and I are the happiest because the whole family gathers for Eid. As many as 17 people will come to us.«
Ramadan is a month dedicated to reading the Koran and fasting. Every year it’s ten days earlier because the Muslim year is ten days shorter.
Points to Consider
- What do you know about Islam?
- On which holidays do all relatives usually gather at the table?
- How do restrictions on controlling the spread of coronavirus affect your socializing?
The original version of this article was published on May 13th.