Saturday, August 27, 2011

Chand Raat 2011: A Festival Night before Eid-ul-Fitr - Shopping, Bangles, Mehndi, Fun and Celebrations

For Muslims across the globe, Eid-ul-Fitr, or Meethi (Sweet) Eid as it is known in Pakistan and India, is one of the favourite celebrations of the Muslim calendar.

1st Shawwal: Muslims Mark the End of Holy Ramadan and Celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr
Eid-ul-Fitr, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity”, while Fitr means “charity” and so the holiday symbolises the breaking of the fasting period. It is celebrated starting on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal.

New Dresses, Matching Shoes, Mehndi (Henna), Bangles (Churiyan) All Are Part of Eid and Chand Raat Festivities

Festival before Eid-ul-Fitr – Chand Raat:

'Chand Raat' is considered to be the eve of Eid Moon or the night of the sighting of the new moon. The term Chand Raat refers to the evening on which first lunar crescent of the month of Shawwal is sighted. Chand Raat (pre-Eid night) is celebrated as a very special occasion by Muslims all over the world.

Chand Raat: A Festival Night Before Eid-ul-Fitr
Chand Raat (pre-Eid night) is a multicultural Islamic celebration/event. Chand Raat which means 'night of the moon ' in the Urdu language marks the end of Ramadan and the start of month of Shawwal and Eid-ul-Fitr falls on 1st of Shawwal (10th month of Islamic/lunar calendar).

Activities and Celebrations on Chand Raat:

Chand Raat activities and festivities start with the first sighting of the moon. Children, adults, young, old, ladies and gents all celebrate the Eid moon sighting with passion and zeal. 

Wish Each Other Chand Raat Mubarak
As children we used to wait for the sighting of the moon and the announcement after it was seen. What a frenzy when all the family members would be on the roofs of their houses to see the new crescent emerge once the last fast (or 'Roza' in Urdi and ‘Soam’ in Arabic) had been finished with dates, cold drink and 'pakoras' and samosas. Every body without any age limit, full of enthusiasm, wishes each other Chand mubarak or Eid ka Chand mubarak .

"Chand Raat" ... Markets and Bazaars:
On this special night, City streets, markets, shopping malls gives a look of a festival. They are decorated very brightly. Markets and shopping malls remain open till late night. 

Chand Raat: Bazaars and markets will remain open almost all the night

This is the eve on which gifts are exchanged among friends, family and loved ones. People wear their best dresses to celebrate and enjoy this eve. Parents try their best to get the best clothes and Eid gifts for their children so that they can enjoy the full excitement of Eid day.

"Chand Raat" ... And Bangles (Churiyan):

Chand Raat: Every female wants beautiful  bangles matching with dress and shoes
Woman always inclined towards jewellery on special occasions like Eid and hardly imagine about Eid celebration without jewellery and makeup. Colourful and Bright Churiyan (bangles) lit the whole market with its beauty and vibrant colours. 

Chand Raat: Ladies concentrate on matching jewellery and accessories
People from all age groups can be seen in the markets buying Bangles for themselves or their loved ones. The tradition of buying bangles for Eid on the “Chand Raat” (The night before Eid) is still a much practiced Eid ritual.

Chand Raat: A night with colors and brightness visible in eyes
The young girls would take to the markets on the night before Eid where they would buy colourful bangles and specially prepared ‘bangle sets’ to be worn on Eid Day. Bangles have been an integral part of a women’s life since her childhood in the subcontinent.

"Chand Raat" ... And Mehndi (Henna):

Chand Raat: Celebrations are incomplete without Mehndi (Henna)
Shiny bangles, jewellery, bright clothes with matching footwear are part and parcel of the Eid festivities but applying glittering henna on hands and feet bring real fun for the young girls on “Chand Raat”.

Chand Raat: Beautiful Mehndi designs are made on hands and feet
Now the henna tattoos are also available in markets and are easy to paste on hands and feet and can be removed easily. The young girls admire henna tattoos associated with celebrations of Eid specifically.

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