Melange

How Have Eid Celebrations Changed Over The Years?

By Insha Farid

Eid, for the Muslim community is a very special occasion. Be it Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid-ul-Azha, Muslims all across the world celebrate the occasions with great zeal and zest. The atmosphere is charged and people are excited. The markets are thronged by people buying various things to prepare for Eid. As happens with most traditions and rituals, Eid celebrations too have changed a lot over the year. What used to be a simple affair has now become an elaborate affair. Our traditional dishes have been replaced by a blend of cuisines. Our Bagirkhanis and Kulchas have been replaced by pastries and donuts. In short, everything has changed. How do people feel the Eid celebrations have changed over the years? How was Eid celebrated in the olden days and how do people celebrate it today? Team KO asks. Here is what a few people have to say.

Bilal Ahmed
For me, the best part of celebrating Eid is giving charity. My grandfather always said that your Eid isn’t complete unless you share what you have with your poor neighbours. We had friends and family over for Eid. My grandfather would never eat unless he made sure all his neighbours were well fed. Today people spend a lot on their food and clothes but none of us really care if our neighbours have anything to eat or new clothes to wear.
—— Bilal Ahmed , Businessman
Yawar Ahmed
The way people celebrated Eid in the earlier days is a lot different from how we celebrate the occasion today. Earlier Eid used to be more of a community affair. The whole neighbourhood got together to celebrate Eid. Today, even though we greet people on Eid, the celebration is more of a family affair. People today like to spend the day with their family, relaxing at home.
—— Yawar Ahmed , Student
Saqib Ahmed
We still celebrate Eid in the traditional way. We drink Kehwa in the morning, wear new clothes and then go for Eid prayers. After the prayers we go to meet and greet our neighbours, friends and family.
—— Saqib Ahmed , PhD Student
Fehmida Jaan
The celebrations have more or less remained the same. The only thing that has changed is that people can now afford much more things than they could at that time. We still have kehwa on every Eid but now we have a lot more bakeries to relish along with it. Also we cook a lot more dishes than people did in the earlier days.
—— Fehmida Jaan , Homemaker
Abdul Rasheed
In my childhood Eid was celebrated much differently than it is today. It was celebrated with simplicity, love and passion. Eid used to be the occasion when everyone would come together for celebration. Life, back then was simple, needs were few and a social occasion like Eid offered the much needed release from the hard life that Kashmiris were used to. But now things have totally changed. Eid has lost its charm. It has become a mere ritual now.
—— Abdul Rasheed , Retd. Govt Employee
Hawla Begum
Eid for me always meant performing the traditional Kashmiri Rouf but for my children, Eid is simply a day to enjoy good food. Today’s generation is completely unaware of our traditions and culture. In my childhood days, women would gather in the Eidgah, after the men left and sing and dance and make merry. Today’s kids prefer celebrating Eid by chatting with their friends over the phone.
—— Hawla Begum , Homemaker
Abdul Razaq
When I was young, the aroma of the saffron Kehwa wafting from the common room marked my Eid mornings. My mother used to serve Kehwa with the traditional Bagirkhani, Kandkulch and Basrak. Today we have pastries and cakes in the morning. We no longer visit our friends and relatives to greet them, we simply give them a call as a mere formality. Eid today is so different from what it used to be.
—— Abdul Razaq , Govt Employee
Ghulam Nabi
My father used to wear a turban to mark this special occasion. Though we had less wealth during those days, our lives were richer. People would greet each other with warmth and love. We would visit our relatives and friends instead of just calling them over phones. Over the years a lot has changed. Our culture and traditions have been influenced by the West. We try to imitate the West in everything today. Our Eid used to be simple and stress free but nowadays, all the unnecessary extravagance has resulted in a lot of stress.
—— Ghulam Nabi , Businessman
Farooq Ahmed
Festivals like Eid give us a chance to enjoy and relax. The best part is seeing the joy and excitement on the faces of little kids. I always go all out and buy my kids a lot of gifts on Eid. Seeing the happiness on my kids’ faces gives me immense joy.
—— Farooq Ahmed , Government Employee
Eid is a particularly special occasion for me because it means I get to meet my family. I am studying in Bangladesh and Eid is the one festival that I always make sure I return home to celebrate with my family. I try to spend as much time with my family as possible. We laugh and have fun. You get to see a completely different side of the family on Eid as everyone is so happy.
—— Fiza Khanday, MBBS Student
Eid celebrations have changed a lot over the years. When I was a young girl, we would sing songs like ‘Eidgah Waseyey, Eid namaaz parwey’ to welcome Eid. But things are so different now. Kids today aren’t interested in getting into the spirit of celebrating Eid. It has just become a routine festival now.
—— Toibah Rasool , Private Employee
Eid for us meant a day full of happiness and laughter. I remember how my mother and aunt would put up performances for the whole family and how we would run through the meadows flying kites all day long. In my youth, kids didn’t waste money on fire crackers. I don’t recall bursting or even buying a single fire cracker in my entire childhood.
—— Zahoor Ahmed , Retd Govt Employee
Eid used to be such an exciting and amazing time. I used to get new clothes and a lot of eidi which I would put in my piggy bank. We would visit relatives and swing from swings. It was my favorite time of the year. Though Eid celebrations have changed a lot over the years, I still try to keep the spirit of Eid alive. I want to pass the same legacy to my children that was passed on to me by my parents.
—— Mehnaaz Bhat , Teacher


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