Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Eid Al-Fitr - End of Ramadan

Today and this evening is the celebration of  Eid Al-Fitr - marking the end of Ramadan and the fasting period of 29 to 30 days. From our perspective in the hotel we are clearly on the periphery of this event since we don't know anyone to celebrate it with and have truly been hunkered down on all the tasks to get even remotely settled. During the week we were given a heads up by our French family that stores would closed for the day.  Apparently the date is based on the sighting of the new moon and then communicated accordingly - so no-one knows until announced. The Casino grocery put up a sign in their window on Tuesday that helped me understand it was going to be today (Wednesday). The Casino grocery always seems packed to me but this time it surely was different. Many shoppers trying to get their goods for their celebrations.  I realized I'd better pick up a few more luncheon items, yogurt, cheese  and fruit to last us through an extra day.  We're still in the hotel managing with a tiny fridge just for small snacks and such. We'll be checking out of the hotel tomorrow. Today given the celebration - we took an opportunity to walk over to the apartment we've settled on for now. I'm not sure if I've mentioned how congested this city is - well today - I'm not joking - there was literally *NO ONE* out.  No dodging cars or people or vendors. In fact we walked in the middle of some  roads without any taxis tooting at us.. It was actually kind of nice with regards to a reduction in 'noise pollution'. As far as the apartment - a blog post coming soon on that.

Taken from Wikipedia - For the holiday of Eid Al-Fitr  everyone puts on their best, usually new clothes; and communal prayers are held in the early morning, followed by feasting and visiting relatives and friends.  

Taken from Wikipedia - Ramadan  is the ninth month of the Islamic Calander which lasts 29 or 30 days. It is the Islamic month of fasting, in which participating Muslims refrain from eating, drinking, smoking and sex during daylight hours and is intended to teach Muslims about patience, spirituality, humility and submissiveness to God. Muslims fast for the sake of Allah  and to offer more prayer than usual. Muslims believe Ramadan to be an auspicious month for the revelations of God to humankind, being the month in which the first verses of the Qur'an were revealed to the Islamic prophet, Muhammad.

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