Monday, September 6, 2010

Ramadan merriment of Pakistani inhabitants!

The holiest month ninth at number on the Islamic Calendar is “Ramadan”. It is a month of fasting from sunrise to sunset and self discipline. It is widely observed in Pakistan. Muslim in Pakistan is about 97% of the whole population. They fast, attend mosques with increased frequency, and recite Quran during the entire period of one month in Ramadan.
After completing the fasting month on the first day of Shawwal all the Muslims celebrate “Eid ul fitr”. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity", while Fitr means "to purify"; and so the holiday symbolizes the purification. Eid-ul-Fiter Salat or Namaz is a Sunnah strongly recommended, just short of obligatory of Muhammad PBUH. The Salat comprise of two raka’ah Namaz which generally offered in an open field called Eid-gaah and also known as “Namaz e Eid”. This Salat should be performed with Jama’at with extra six Takbirs, three of them in the beginning of the first raka'ah and three of them just before ruku' in the second raka'ah. 
Eid ul-Fitr lasts for one day of celebrations. Yet, it is celebrated for two or more days in some countries. It is sometimes also known as the "Smaller Eid".
As daylight begins to fade, Muslims await the Muezzin's call to perform the Maghreb prayers. Once the call is heard they may break fast called Iftari in Arabic. Most will first take some form of thirst-quenching drink. This varies not only by individual preferences but also but local customs. It is quite common in the Middle East to breakfast with water and dates. But in Pakistan it is more common to drink a local fruit juice or rose syrup water with some dates. Then they have a lot of food variety in Iftari such as smosa, pakora, chicken roll, fruit chat, channa chat, and dahi bahlay. And finally after offering prayer they go for their regular evening meal. 
Chand Raat occurs the night before Eid day celebrations commence. It is actually marking the end of the month of Ramadan. In the night known as Chand Raat all people celebrate by various means such as girls putting henna on their hands. People buy gifts and sweets that will be given to friends and families who come over to celebrate the end of Ramadan. The streets, major building and landmarks, even outside of malls and plazas, put on displays of elaborate decorations and colorful light shows. There are large crowds in the city ready to celebrate the beginning of Eid and it is a boom time for business in all essence. 

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