February 3, 2023

Saudi Women's Stories قصص نساء سعوديات

Learning, Empowering, and Inspiring قصص لنتعلم و نتمكن و نلهم

The Difference Between Eid in the Present and in the Past

by AhmetSelcuk (Wikipedia)

Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha are happy days for all Muslims and those who celebrate them. Before the Eid prayer, all the homes are illuminated and prepared for Eid. The girls are confused about what clothes to wear. The boys help their father choose which sheep to sacrifice, and the mother fills the house with Arab incense (bakhoor). I asked a group of people from the ages of sixteen to the middle-aged for their views of Eid in the past and present era. These were their responses:

Ahmed Altammar – 37

“Eid in the past, when we were young, had no responsibilities such as decorating the house or preparing a large sacrifice (a goat) for the visitors. The most important thing was the joy and people gathering in the streets. This generation’s Eid has no celebrations in the streets, and it’s directed towards the family and the celebration of the house and its decoration. For Eid Al-Adha, because of pilgrims, there were days for Muslims around the world who were able to celebrate in Mecca. It was only pictures or stories of people celebrating Mecca near the Kaaba, but now because of transportation and the leniency in coming to Mecca, many can celebrate with each other as Muslims in the holy ground, Mecca.”

Mohammed Altammar – 37

“Eid in the past did not offer social media or electronic greetings, and the latest method of greeting was text message messages (SMS), such as text messages using the Nokia or the flip phone. Once, the holiday had a strong emphasis on connecting with other Arabs and now, the holiday is less celebrated with a huge crowd and instead is inclusive to immediate relatives. We did not know what other relatives and strangers did in distant countries. With the presence of social media, we have a greater idea of ​​what others do on Eid, such as their garments and pictures of their parties. Eid was previously focused on children’s joy and children enjoyed Eid more because of the presence of simplicity which is playing with all the children in the streets from morning to night, but Eid now is limited to greeting visitors inside the house only.”

“Before we were friends with the sheep we ate, now we buy random pre-cut and cooked meat from the butcher.” Sara AlAwadh – 16 years old

The point of Sarah’s expression is that we first used to take care of our sheep and animals, then we use them as a sacrifice for Eid, but now we buy pre-cut and cooked meat and rice from a restaurant instead of celebrating Eid Al-Adha the authentic way, which is sacrificing sheep. 

Emad Babsail – 17

“Back then, Eid Al-Adha was full of vitality and enthusiasm for eidiyats (money given to children as a gift) and the gathering of the family from all cities one city, Riyadh. We used to collect from every uncle and aunt, and at the end of the day, we would be happy with the money we collected. We used to pick the soon-to-be sacrificed sheep a few days before Eid and hook them up on our farms. We used to slaughter the sheep on the morning of Eid, perhaps at 6 or 7 in the morning, and we would eat the lamb from the beginning of the day until the end of the day. After we slaughter them, we would collect the meat and divide it among us, and we also put a little bit to distribute to the neighbors. Unfortunately, as we grew up, we realized there were no longer gatherings on neither Eid Al-Adha nor Eid al-Fitr. Nor does it come to feasts or the morning people to slaughter, nor do we get attached to the sheep and give it strange nicknames.”

“I think that Eid, in the beginning, had more enthusiasm because there are more people and more decoration. We used to sit excitedly from dawn till night, but now I feel there like there is no enthusiasm and people are numb to the feeling of connection. We would wake up first in the morning to take turns in applying make-up on each other and borrow things from each other for the preparation of Eid. We would wake up in the morning to go to different people’s houses until night, but now there are only Eid celebrations in specific homes for specific families instead of enjoying Eid with the whole neighborhood.” Miad Altammar – 16 years old

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