“Eid Mubarak” or “What the Hell is Eid?” or “Some Quick Statistics”
Off-topic post alert! But with so many hits on my blog looking for “Eid Mubarak”, I thought it might be prudent to explain what the hell Eid really is.
There are over 1.5 billion Muslims in the world. The following maps depicts what may be called “Muslim countries”. There are over 2.5 million Muslims in the U.S. alone.
The Islamic Calendar
The Islamic calender is lunar, and strictly follows the revolutions of the moon around the earth, which is why it is about 355 days (10 days shorter than your normal calender). There are twelve months as follows:
- Jumada al-Ula
- Jumada al-Akhira
- Ramadan (First Eid)
- Dhu al-Qa’da
- Dhu al-Hijja (Second Eid)
What is Eid?
Every year they celebrate this little event called Eid. Which comes twice. About 10 weeks apart. Allow me to elaborate.
The 9th month in the year is Ramadan. This is the month of fasting. Muslims around the world fast from sunrise to sunset. Fasting implies no food, drink, sex, nothing. You have to abstain. So forgive any Muslim friends you may have that may be on some serious edge this month. To answer the obvious question, yes you can have sex after you break your fast at sunset!
At the end of Ramadan comes the first Eid, also known as Eid-ul-Fitr. It is a festival of food, lights, and flashy clothes. And sweets. Lots and lots of sweets. As in Halloween is put to shame. Essentially Muslims try to make up for all the abstinence for a month in the three days of Eid, and indulge themselves to the fullest extent of the imagination.
Second Eid or Eid-ul-Adha
In the 12th month, Dhu al-Hijja, Muslims around the world travel to the holy city of Mecca to offer pilgrimage to Ka’ba. On the 10th day of this month, you are supposed to commemorate Abraham sacrificing his son at God’s command by sacrificing an animal and making three portions out of the meat. The first portion is for your family, the second for your relatives and loved ones and the third is for the needy and the destitute. This is effectively the second Eid, or Eid-ul-Adha, and it involves an equivalent (if not an added) amount of indulgence, gluttony and debauchery.
So there you have it. That is what Eid is! The first Eid this year will be on Wednesday, August 31st, 2011. So if you have a Muslim friend, wish them a happy Eid or “Eid Mubarak” and impress them with your new-found knowledge!
So, Eid Mubarak everyone!