The month of Ramadan ended on Wednesday 8 September in the Sudan. The moon has been sighted and the festival of breaking the fast can begin
I took this photo an hour after the first one, as it was getting light
During the month of Ramadan, Muslims observe a strict fast and participate in pious activities such as charitable giving and peace-making. It is a time of intense spiritual renewal for those who observe it. At the end of Ramadan, Muslims throughout the world observe a joyous three-day celebration called Eid al-Fitr (the Festival of Fast-Breaking).
Eid al-Fitr falls on the first day of Shawwal, the month which follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. It is a time to give in charity to those in need, and celebrate with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and joy.
Before the day of Eid, during the last few days of Ramadan, each Muslim family gives a determined amount as a donation to the poor. This donation is of actual food -- rice, barley, dates, etc. -- to ensure that the needy can have a holiday meal and participate in the celebration. This donation is known as sadaqah al-fitr (charity of fast-breaking).
On the day of Eid, Muslims gather early in the morning in outdoor locations or mosques to perform the Eid prayer. This consists of a sermon followed by a short congregational prayer.
After the Eid prayer, Muslims usually scatter to visit various family and friends, give gifts (especially to children), and make phone calls to distant relatives to give well-wishes for the holiday. These activities traditionally continue for three days. In most Muslim countries, the entire 3-day period is an official government/school holiday.
The start of the feast is marked by massive outdoor worship services at local mosques. Many then spend the afternoon and evening visiting family, friends and neighbours. Those with recent deaths in the family get special attention in hopes the celebrations will distract them from mourning. In cities, families also head to public gardens for picnics while kids run around with newly purchased toy guns and shoot at each other.
Sudanese President Omar al-Bashir called for the country's numerous armed movements to lay down their arms and engage in dialogue rather than violence to solve their differences. Source Internet
Here in Khartoum we have seen the preparations for this celebration. The shopping mall, Afra, is decorated with shiny streamers (Christmas decorations) and the pastry, cookie and sweet displays are a sight to behold. There are literally towers of scrumptious - looking cookies wrapped in cellophane. I asked two ladies manning one of these displays, if I could take a photo, but they didn't seem keen, so I had to leave it.
All around were families (mainly dad's) with their children and they were stocking up on new clothes, sweets and toys for the children.
Every other supermarket we visited had cutglass cookie plates filled with biscuits and other sweet treats all covered with cellophane. The deli display trays were overflowing with olives, pickles, cream cheese, lubneh, tabouleh, deep fried savouries and a host of hard cheeses and cold meats.
The vegetable market stalls on the streets look beautiful with fresh produce to tempt the eye.
Yesterday Miriam arrived at work with her young neice to help her. She said she'd like to finish work early and go home to prepare for Eid. I have a box of assorted sweets/candy for her to take home to her two little boys.
Miriam's two young sons (pictured above) came to work with her in May. I bought them pencil crayons and books and Grant brought them a soccer ball on the way home from work. The older one is quiet and studious while the younger one (in blue shirt) is the adventurous one. As soon as Grant arrived with the ball, he dropped the drawing and began to kick the ball to Grant instead!
The Arabic for celebration of breaking the fast is ʻYd al-Fţr (pronounced eed-a-fiturr)
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