Eid: A Festival of Breaking Fast

Muslims across the country ended their Ramadan fast on Wednesday and began the festivities to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr. This Festival marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, and the celebrations mark the conclusion of the twenty nine or thirty days of dawn-to-sunset fasting , which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramazan with sighting of the moon on Tuesday night.

Thousands of Muslims visited mosques across the Lake City on Wednesday morning to celebrate the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr. People gathered at Paltan Masjid, Dholibawadi Masjid, Khanjipeer Masjid and other mosques in different parts of the city to offer prayers. People dressed in the best offered special namaz at the mosque.

Udaipur Bohras, Muslims

About  Eid-ul-Fitr :

The day of Eid-ul-Fitr truly symbolizes holiness, tolerance, courage and godliness.

Arabically Eid means ‘Festival’ and Fitr means ‘Breaking Fast’  considered as one of the major festival for Muslims. Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated by feasting on several varieties of ‘sevaiyan’ (vermicilli).

Socially, Eid-ul-Fitr reminds us of the noble human feeling to share the festivities besides embracing people from all walks of life.

Another important aspect of Eid ul Fitr lies in the distribution of charity on the day. Every Muslim who has some means must pay Zakt-al-Fitr, a sum to be donated for the month of Ramadan, to serve Humanity. It has never said that a non-follower of Islam be not helped or sympathized for the simple reason as Allah is not the God of Muslims alone but He is Rehmatullil Aalameen, meaning that He is the God of all people irrespective of their faith, caste, color or creed. It can either be in the form of cash or basic foodstuff, including wheat, barley, dates, raisins etc. It is done to spare a thought to the plight of the poor and is different from the normal Zakat, which is given to purify one’s wealth. Holy Quran recommends giving donation to the poor on this auspicious day, the best time for which is before going to the mosque in the morning, to offer prayers.

Id-ul-Fitr is also a festival that cultivates brotherhood and connections, as people visit each other on this days. Friends, relatives and loved ones are greeted and offered sweets. Gifts are given to children, mostly in the form of money. Sisters and daughters also receive gifts on this occasion. Some Muslims also pay a visit to the graveyard, a custom which is known as ziyarat-al-qubur, to pay homage to the departed souls. Some scholars also believe that the month-long fasting is undertaken to acknowledge the superiority of the spiritual realm over the physical realm. Nevertheless, the spirit of conviviality surrounds the celebrations of Eid ul Fitr throughout the Islamic world.

This day of happiness is also a day of introspection for Muslims who should spare at least some time to see if their actions and character can be assessed favourably in the light of Islamic teachings as to whether they have contributed to the well-being of their fellow beings, non-Muslim brethren and the nation above all.



Dussehra: Victory of Good over Evil !!

Picture of Gandhi Ground by Rahul Bhatnagar

Struggle between the forces of good and evil, and the eventual victory of good over the evil, is the basic theme of Ramayana. Now u might have understood why I am telling all this here and now , yes because friends today’s the festival of Dussehra, which you all know symbolizes the victory of good over evil. It is being celebrated throughout the country including Udaipur with immense joy and delight. Do you know Dussehra also symbolizes the triumph of warrior Goddess Durga over the buffalo demon Mahishasur.

The Dussehra festival celebration is unique in its perception and significance. I hope everyone knows the story behind one of the greatest era of Ramayan but for the people who are not aware about the preceding section let me yet again reprise the episode in brief on this conspicuous Occasion of Dussehra. On the day of Dussehra / Vijay Dashmi, Lord Ram, killed the great demon Ravan, who had abducted Ram’s wife Sita to his kingdom of Lanka. Ram, who was a devout believer of Durga, the Goddess of War, prayed to her for the first nine days of battle and killed the evil Ravan on the 10th day along, with his brother Lakshman follower Hanuman, and an army of monkeys fought a great battle to rescue Lord Ram’s divine wife Sita. He shot Ravan with a bow that pierced his navel and Out flowed the nectar of immortality that was stored in a pot in his navel, thus destroying his invincibility. Sita had been returned to her husband Ram and they now make their way to Ayodhya in triumph and glory.

So in the months of Ashwin and kartik, we Hindus observe a 10-day ceremony of fast, rituals, celebrations and fests to honor the mother Goddess Durga and triumph of Lord Ram over demon Ravan. It is a ten-day celebration, during which Ramlila, which is based on the epic story of the Ramayana, is staged at various places in most of the cities and towns in northern India with elaborate rituals. The idols of Devi Durga after the Navratri celeberation is immersed in various rivers, lakes and ponds and on the last day i.e, Vijay Dashmi (today) the dummies of Ravana, kumbhkaran and Meghnath are buried at various places by the stars of the night – Rama, Sita and Lakshman taken around in huge chariots. Crowds of people shouting Jai Shri Ram (Victory to Rama) joins the procession…

In Udaipur also, the effigies of three Ravana, kumbhkaran and Meghnath are burnt at Gandhi Ground, in presence of thousands of individuals with performances of Ram leela in existence of colossal fireworks celebration.

narayan seva ravan udaipur
Picture of Ravan @ Narayan Seva