Thursday, September 28, 2023 | Rabi' al-awwal 12, 1445 H
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25°C / 25°C

Eid is round the corner


The last week of Ramadhan is always with mixed feelings - excitement of Eid, togetherness, new clothes, gifts, holidays, but sentimental of yet one more month of fasting coming to a conclusion.

People of all faith have an opportunity to reflect on the blessings and empathize with others who have challenges of hunger, have the opportunity to share your blessings and ask for forgiveness in the depth of your heart.

Fasting, not just with food, but with negative thoughts and words, that is also between you and yourself; which is why we need the quiet moments.

Maybe the month gave us the time to evaluate and reevaluate our actions and deeds.

Often time we think we are strong people who cannot be influenced negatively by others. We are only normal and it is so easy to be carried away on the surf of life reacting not responding. The month of Ramadhan gave everyone to pause although on many occasions, nights became longer along with meal durations. But in good company it all meant well. The last week also means there is a feeling of heading towards graduation.

There is a feeling of achievement and it truly is especially for the younger ones who harnessed their will power through discipline and fasting.

But now people are already into the planning mode for the Eid days. Friends have begun to prepare the ancestral homes to receive the family members to celebrate Eid at hometown. A lot of long drives are to be made, Eidiya has to be prepared as children must be already making plans in anticipation, and not to forget visits to the tailors and shops.

Maybe online is thriving, but there is nothing like hopping around shop to shop to get the right accessories and shoes for the new clothes to be worn on Eid days.

The mood is set off by the habtas that pop up in wilayats around the governorates. There could be retail satisfaction when it comes to malls but even they do not stand a chance when compared to habta markets. It comes with a lot of nostalgia. In some places it starts ten days to Ramadhan, while in other areas it could be from 25th day to 28th day of Ramadhan.

These open air markets could be under the shades of the trees mostly date palm trees or could be allocated areas arranged by the municipalities. The vendors begin by 5 am most of the time so they are ready to receive visitors by sunrise.

And shoppers can enjoy at least until midday. The vendors also feature goods people need for Eid, but as well as somethings for children - toys, and not to forget traditional clothing and spices for traditional Omani recipes.

As we all know Eid is an occasion where shuwa is made as per the custom so this could also include availability of firewood as well as banana leaves for shuwa at the open markets.

Habta’s important element is also livestock. Al Munada is the place where auction takes place for the livestock.

So even if one is a tourist in the country there is great excitement to be captured at the habta scenes around.

There is no chance to set foot in a beauty salon if one has not taken a prior reservation as there just would not be any space left to settle down for a henna session so the next option would be to sort out a cousin or friend who excel in the art of drawing with henna on the palms.

The body has already got used to the fasting, so there must be some tiredness but the eyes are twinkling looking at all these prospects of fine tuning the plans that are being laid out for the days of Eid.

Then it is the holidays. Some expected longer, but the announced dates seemed to be fine because they have moved on to plan B. It is interesting how people have options planned out and these are the one who never seemed to waste time on disappointments.

The beautiful part of it all is to have learnt what it is to not have food and to share with people who have not.

Giving need not be only about money, food or clothes, as the Indian community is joining hands with the Indian Embassy to raise the amount of blood units available at the Oman Blood Banks for seven days. There were bus loads of teachers arriving to donate their blood. There was a gentle elderly lady who felt the need to donate her blood and for few seconds she went through weakness but soon she recovered and was sure she wanted to serve the society in this unique way.

How can a sense of selfishness exist where there is a feeling towards the welfare of others?

Who would even entertain a thought of harming others when one has the heart to give blood for others?

We have crossed more than 21 days, proving that we would have formed some good transformations and now it is also time to start fresh with good health and habits.

Eid Mubarak in advance!

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