The Festival of Sacrifice is also known as Eid-al-Adha or Bakrid, is celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah, the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. With prayer and sermons at home and the emphatic joy and smiles with close family members around – Bakrid this year is going to be different.
People across the state have been preparing for the festival, rather on a silent tone, as the coronavirus pandemic grappling the world has pushed celebrations to be held indoors with just close relatives. But the fervour of Eid is going to be no different.
“I can’t hold my excitement to wear my Eid dress,” says Rifa Sheikh. She and her sister, eagerly wait for every Eid to eat their mother’s chicken achar. “It’s the best,” she says, adding, that Eid without biryani and Shirkhurma is incomplete.
In normal occasions, Eid festivities would begin by gathering at the local mosque in the morning for prayers followed by visiting relatives to pass on greetings of the festival.
With mosques being closed due to Covid-19, the festivities have moved indoors, but this doesn’t, at all, dampen the spirits of Bakrid. The state Muslim Body has asked its community members to offer prayers at home.
For Rifa, celebrations will be no different than usual, as the close togetherness of family will be truly cherished. “I feel it’s beautiful to celebrate only with family, as we get to spend more time together and create memories that we otherwise couldn’t have with many people visiting,” she says.
The pandemic has also brought families closer with the adoption of technology. Omer, who would usually spend his Eid by visiting all his relatives, now says he will revive the same feeling through video calls. “Earlier, we would visit all relatives and share our Eid greetings, but this year it will be just over the phone.”
Bakrid festivities usually call for a sacrifice to be offered, but this year, with the continuous rise in cases and subsequent lockdowns, many have decided to spend that amount towards the poor. “Due to the pandemic, the sacrifice which we used to usually offer won’t be possible, but that isn’t a problem as we distribute the same amount among the poor,” said Omer.
He jovially added, “Since we cannot go out, I am going to play monopoly with my mother.”
Similar to the Eid al-Fitr in May that followed the holy month of Ramadan, Bakrid will also follow the same celebrations – at home – among close family. Others have said that the Covid-19 pandemic has not really changed anything much, besides limiting visits to the mosque.
“Allah says celebrate Eid with your family first and the happiness of this festival should first start at home,” said a local resident. “I feel the whole pandemic is a sign for us that we have forgotten to spend out time with family members,” said another.
With the toned-down celebrations and quality family time together, Muslim brethren are hoping to make up for the low-key celebrations the following year. But the sweet Shirkhurma and Phirni and the mutton Khorma and Dbhuni Raan will be savoured with the close family together.