Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Chand Raat

Chand Raat -- aka: the "night of the moon". Chand raat is the last night of Ramadan and the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr. Tonight is chand raat (I'm sure no one in Cairo calls it that) and you can hear the traffic, fireworks and the buzz of the city getting ready for the celebration in the morning.

Growing up, chand raat was busy with preparations. Last minute cooking, ironing our new clothes (no kid of my mother's was going to show up to Eid prayers in already worn threads) and no matter how exhausted my mother was, she always made sure I had henna on my hands. Always. In the morning, we ate "savaiyah" (a sweet vermicelli dish) before dashing out the door to Eid prayers. The day that followed was a marathon blur of endless sweet and fatty food as we went from one Auntie's house to another.

We ate like were on a mission to avenge the month of fasting.

Today, I am in another country, thousands of miles away from my Mom. The traditional Eid sweet here is a cookie with a fig in the middle, dusted with sugar. We have some of those on the table but some things about Eid remain constant for me wherever in the world I go: "savaiyah" (aka: Sheer Korma) are bubbling away on the stove, I'm ironing my clothes for the morning and (much like my mother before me) trying to convince my husband to wear a traditional Pakistani suit tomorrow (he won't).

Tucked away in a little cup on my kitchen counter, some Egyptian henna waits my artistic inspiration (I'll post a photo but my prediction: a two year old child's art project gone wrong. On my hands for the next 4-6 weeks).

Tomorrow after Eid prayers, we're invited to breakfast at a new friend's place and then lunch and dinner with another. So I guess now we're the Aunties on the Eid day circuit...

Chaand Mubarak and Happy Eid to all

photo and text copyright cairomaniac 2008 and yes, that is my hand :-)


amreen said...

lovely! chaand raat mubarak, my friend! hope your cairo eid is lovely and festive. kebabs are in the oven, presents are wrapped and clothes are ironed. will make kheer sevaiyya in the early morning. lots of love and eid wishes amreen xoxoxoxox

Cairomaniac said...

MISS YOU!! This morning I am really thinking about all the Eid's we've celebrated (both growing up -- remember all those church halls in NB?) to the Skydome (where children are rewarded with toys when they run away :-) Have a wonderful Eid and give my love to everyone there -- I miss you guys a lot today! Write and tell me all about it and take tons of pix of the kids. Eid Mubarak and lots of love from both of us

saira said...

Eid mubarak suf! And wish Khan Sahib too... (we the aunties??? say it ain't so...)

saira said...

hey Suf, Happppppppy EID!!! Hope you had a luvly one - pls wish Khan Sahib too! (us the aunties??? say it ain't so...)

saira said...
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