Muscat, June 14 –
Ramadhan ended on Thursday evening after the sighting of the crescent moon in the Sultanate’s sky setting the stage for the Eid al Fitr celebrations today. The Ministry of Endowments and Religious Affairs committee has confirmed sighting of the moon in a tweet on Thursday.
Believers across the Sultanate and GCC will celebrate Eid al Fitr in their own traditional style after 29 days of fasting.
Special Eid prayers will be held from as early as 6.30 am in the mosques and prayer grounds across the Sultanate.
Eid al Fitr comes on the first day of the 10th month of Shawwal, after Ramadhan. Offering prayers in congregation and visiting relatives, sharing sweets and slaughtering cattle are the highlights of the 3-day Eid al Fitr celebrations. Omanis differ on the custom of slaughtering on Eid al Fitr. Some of them don’t do it on Eid al Fitr but on Eid al Adha, which follows after 70 days.
Children are the ones who give Eid its colour and mood. On the Eid eve, they are ready with new clothes and put henna on their hands. In the past, mothers put ‘sidr’ and ‘yas’ — a mixture of ‘yas’ tree leaves and locally made oil — over their young daughters heads as a kind of adornment and then they make braids full with this ‘yas’ which remains so throughout the days of the Eid. With changing times, young girls now go with their mothers to the beauty salons to do henna as well as their hair.
‘Eidiya’ is a part of the joy of Eid. It is the small denominations of money distributed by adults after the Eid prayer to children who line up for this purpose. Then they go to ‘Ayod’, a place where vendors gather to sell different kinds of toys to children. In Ayod, traditional Omani dances are performed where people come with their families to see and enjoy.
One of the most famous Omani Eid dish is Hareesa. Arsia and Mugashead are served in the morning of Eid as a main meal. In the families that do the slaughter during Eid al Fitr, they do another dish called taqlia — pieces of meat cooked with Omani spices. On the second day of the Eid, people make mishkak or juicy skewers of grilled meat. On the third day, it is ‘shuwa’, which is eaten with rice or bread.
Shuwa is a unique Omani specialty for which meat is marinated in a thick blend of oil and spices, wrapped in palm fronds, and cooked over hot embers underground. In some villages, there are communal pits where each family can place their palm frond meat
package to cook along with the others for a day or more.