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Eid ul Fitr is one of the most celebrated religious festivals for Muslims. It is a cause of celebration for all those who fast for an entire month. Its festivities ignite feelings of unanimity for Muslims all around the world. However, since 2020 the celebrations marking Eid have been marred by the Covid-19 pandemic. For this reason the festivities have become more confined to homes, this year as well. However, you need not worry about this as this blog will help you celebrate the occasion despite the lockdown, in the safest way possible. So, without further ado, let’s find out how you can make the most of Eid during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Eid During The Covid-19 Pandemic
The Government of Pakistan has announced Eid holidays from May 10 to 15, 2021. As per the issued guidelines, travel to northern areas has been banned, and inter-provincial travel has been restricted. However, trains with 70% capacity and cars with 50% capacity have been allowed to cross provincial boundaries as people want to be with their loved ones on the day of Eid. With these measures, it is mandatory that all people abide by the SOP guidelines; wear a mask at all times, maintain social distancing and sanitize your hands regularly. These small measures will go a long way in protecting you and your family. If you feel feverish, you must isolate yourself so you do not infect others around you.
While this is yet another unusual Eid, we’ve prepared a brief for you so you can get the most of Eid during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Eid during the Covid-19 Pandemic: Add A Spin To Your Chaand Raat
For most people, the night before Eid, chaand raat, is a festival on its own. It is a holiday with its own set of traditions and practices. For women and girls, it is a day of pre-prepping for Eid. It is a day when salons are overbooked, bazaars are crowded with people doing last minute shopping, and the night blurs to the early hours of the Eid morning. The chaand raat bazaars with mehndi stalls and street food are something that are attended by families. However, this year none of this will be possible as the government has imposed a blanket lockdown throughout the country.
This, however, does not mean that you can not have a fun time. You can do pretty much the same things in the confines of your home. As soon as the announcement comes, you can start small festivities at your home, and be digitally connected to your friends and family, to share in the celebrations. Watch mehndi tutorials to do your own mehndi, order your favourite food, watch a movie and host a watch party with your friends.
If you miss the greater outdoors, there is no harm in going for a drive around the city. Almost all restaurants are offering in-car dining services, and some have actually adapted to this idea well and offer portable tables. Keep yourselves masked as much as possible and sanitize everything. It is best if you take our own utensils and cutlery, rather than using reusable utensils or worse, plastic.
Try to avoid getting out of the car and coming in physical contact with anyone, as much as possible.
2021 Eid during the Covid-19 Pandemic Calls For Special Delicacies
After a month of fasting, specially-prepared delicacies are a must have on Eid. In South Asia, particularly in Pakistan, in commemoration of ‘meethi Eid’ sweet dishes like Sheer Khorma, gulab jamun, ras malai, shahi tukray and the likes are prepared. These along with entrees like biryani, pulao, barbecue are a staple in most households.
You can spend your day cooking these delicacies at home, and instead of hosting dinner or lunch parties of large groups of people, it’s best if you celebrate with the people at home. The best thing you can do is keep yourself and the ones you love safe. While food is a central part of celebrations, this year you can go an extra mile in preparing all the family-favorite dishes during the long holiday.
While there is a certain joy in hosting people and eating together, right now is the time to enjoy a laid-back Eid with your family. While we have to maintain social distancing, there’s no harm in connecting with your family and friends through social media. There are numerous apps that allow you to stay connected with your loved ones, no matter where they are.
To make this experience as safe as possible, it is best if you do your grocery shopping well before time to avoid large crowds during the last days of Ramadan. You can easily stock up on most things with a refrigerator and fridge, and this year it’s mandatory you do so.
Eid Days 2021
Now that you’ve had a fun chaand raat, and prepared delicacies, you should spend the three days of Eid ul Fitr in the best possible way. The first day of Eid begins with a mass congregation, which again, can not be arranged, and should not be attended. It is best that you stay safe, however, if your local mosque offers the facilities to pray in your house’s courtyard, there is nothing better than this. Women of the household can also join in the congregation this way, and social distancing will be maintained at all levels.
After congregational prayers, is the time to get ready, and being at home should not be taken as an excuse not to. There’s plenty to celebrate after Ramadan. Enjoy the food, lend a helping hand at home, and call up your relatives.
Going for a drive and enjoying car dine-ins is always a welcomed option. You can also stream your favorite movie in the car while you enjoy your food with friends and family. Stay away from open spaces, especially parks that can not be disinfected regularly. If you have kids at home, you can arrange activities for them to enjoy such as painting, coloring, prepping food (if they are more than 6 years of age), dancing, or simply just spending time with them. These holidays are a blessing in disguise, as once when the restrictions are lifted, you will not get a chance to spend time with your family like this again.
This Eid, do not forget the less fortunate. Many people have been displaced from their work due to the pandemic, and it is our duty to help them as we celebrate Eid safely. You can arrange extensive ration drives, or even just distribute sweets among the children to spread joy around. The spirit of eid is in sharing, and this year there is an even more need to do so.
While the festivities have been confined to homes this year as well, we must be grateful for being safe, and remember the millions of people who have been affected by the pandemic. As Muslims, we are all connected by our belief system, no matter where we are. These are testing times, and we have to be careful for the safety of everyone. While festivities are small, having a healthy household is the biggest blessing for anyone this year, and we should be abundantly grateful for that.
Also read our guide to find out what’s open this Eid,.