- Meethi Eid and Bakra Eid have the most delectable cuisines made
- Muslims celebrate the festival of control, abstinence and sacrifice
- The word Eid is an Arabic name, which means festivity or celebration
According to Celebrity Chef Sadaf Hussain, "Muslims all around the world celebrate the festival of control, abstinence and sacrifice in the form of Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid-ul-Adha. While Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, a month of fasting and self-control and the beginning of the Islamic month of Shawwal, Eid-ul-Adha (Bakrid) is a festival of Sacrifice. But as a Muslim chef and food lover, my focus is always on the kinds of food that we get during these festivals. Both these festivals are denoted by the hospitality and the stretch of food being served on the dining table."
Eid-Ul-Fitr (Meethi Eid): Significance and Celebrations
The word Eid is an Arabic name, which means festivity, celebration or a recurring happiness. Eid-Ul-Fitr or festival of breaking of the fast is celebrated after a month long fasting period which is called Ramadan or Ramzan, where Muslims observe a fast and participate in pious activities such as charities and prayers. It is believed that the month of Ramadan is the period of spiritual renewal for those who observe it. After the 29-30 days of dawn to sunset fasting period, Eid-U-Fitr falls on the first day of Shawwal, the month that follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar.
Prior to the celebration of Eid and during the month of Ramadan, each Muslim family gives a determined amount as a donation to poorer families or the needy. The donation includes food like rice, barley, dates, et al. Food is given to ensure that no needy person is left hungry on the day of Eid and has a hearty feast. This donation in Islam is known as Sadaqah-Al- Fitr (charity). Eid is celebrated for the following three days with lots of zeal and happiness. On this day, people observe Salat (Islamic prayer) consisting of two Rakats (units), which is generally offered together in a large hall or open fields. People wear new clothes and celebrate it with their family and friends and greet each other with 'Eid Mubarak'. These greetings may vary from regions to regions.
Food plays an important role in any festival. It connects people and together they enjoy huge feasts on this day. The most important sweet of this day is the meethi sevaiyan, which is made in different and flavoursome ways. Muslims welcome this day with something sweet, which is why it is called Meethi Eid. Apart from this, huge feasts are prepared, not one but many. Several kinds of biryani, nihari, kebabs, kheer etc are made to celebrate this day.
According to Chef Sadaf, Eid-Ul-Fitr is when people usually get a lot of sweet dishes to eat. "We make six different kinds of sevaiyan (vermicelli) and all of them have different kinds of sweetness level (one for every kind of sweet lover). We also have usual savoury dishes to go with morning breakfast or dinner. But if you are visiting a Muslim family during this Eid, be assured that you are going to be served a lot of sweet dishes."
Eid-Ul-Adha or festival of sacrifice, popularly known as Bakra Eid, is the second most important festival celebrated by Muslims all around the world. This festival honours the willingness of Prophet Abraham to sacrifice his son, as an act of submission to God's command. Before he could sacrifice his son, God sent his angel Gabriel, who then put a sheep instead of his son. The meat was then divided in to three parts - the first part was retained by the family, the second part was distributed between friends and family, and the third part was distributed to the poor. Since then, this tradition of Bakra Eid is being followed religiously by Muslims worldwide. According to the Islamic calendar, Eid-Ul-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhu-Al-Hijjah and lasts for about four days until the 13th day.
Eid-Ul-Adha begins with a prayer of two rakats (units), which is followed by sermon (Khutbah). People perform prayers any time after sunrise. On this day too, men, women and children dress in their finest clothing to perform Eid prayer in a large congregation in Eidgah or Mosque. Families who can afford animal sacrifice, do it and follow the tradition of distributing three parts of the sacrifice . The festival also marks the end of Hajj pilgrimage.
Food in Eid-Ul-Adha is slightly different from Eid-Ul-Fitr, as on this day the sacrificed meat is cooked and eaten along with many other delicacies. People meet and greet each other, celebrate and feast together to mark this day. As per Chef Sadaf, "Eid-Ul-Adha is Namkeen Eid (savoury Eid) where you will have kilos of meat at your place to deal with. This festival is a meat lover's paradise. During this Eid we start the day with some Bhuna Gosht and Bheja Fry. By lunch time we have biryani, Mutton Chap, some curry-based meat and salad. And if you still have space, then dinner time we again have three to four kinds of kebabs, which get eaten up as they are getting cooked."
On being asked about his signature dish for Eid, Chef Sadaf said, "My signature dish during Eid is Garlic Ginger Mutton. I marinate the mutton with ginger-garlic paste, yogurt, salt and pepper for an hour. Once done, I cook on a low flame with sliced onion, ginger julienne and some chopped chillies. Serve it with lemon. It tastes heavenly."
Eid is all about bringing people together and celebrating the special bond with each other over some delectable food, as well as offering prayer to the Almighty for a long life and happiness.