All my life, Eid has been a joy-filled celebration. I wanted the same on my first Eid in Cairo.
We invited friends over the night before Eid for a "chand raat" party. And I wasn't going to have a chand raat without henna. Thankfully, our life here is blessed with the wonderful Mrs Khalifa. Her family transformed our Eid. From finding the Sudanese henna lady for our party to inviting us to their place in Imbaba for a traditional Egyptian Eid day lunch, they made this Eid-ul-Adha unforgettable.
When I was a kid, the night before Eid my mother would put henna on my hands and my father would confer with the community to spot the moon and then arrange the morning prayers. The day of Eid, my mom would be up at the crack of dawn (even tho she was the last to sleep) making sure our brand new Eid clothes were pressed and ready. She would shoo us down to a traditional sweet breakfast before heading out the door to Eid prayers. We'd go to prayers, meet everyone and spend the day visiting family and friends (stuffing our faces at every stop...) On Eid-ul-Adha, my father would go to a nearby farm (in sussex) and sort out the meat and it's distribution (split in equal thirds: charity/ friends and family/ personal use). All this in a small town in eastern Canada where I was the only Muslim kid in my school until my brother started grade one. I always knew the meaning of Eid and looked forward to it. I thought all these were traditions unique to my family -- but as I grew up and celebrated Eid in my various travels around the globe, I realised that what my parents had done for us was repeated in households across the Muslim world.
photo taken by yasir khan, composed by sufia lodhi :-) 2007