Muscat: With the extended stay-at-home order continues, the celebrations marking the culmination of Ramdhan will be a low-key affair this year.
Owing to the coronavirus pandemic, mosques are closed, special evening prayers and iftar congregations have been cancelled and believers are told pray at home.
And shopping that adds colour to the festivity is almost nil as malls remain closed with uncertainty clouding their opening. People are now thinking about what they can do differently this year in order to celebrate Eid al Fitr under lockdown.
Although some people have begun shopping online, many said they do not want to go to shopping malls, even if they are allowed to open, as it can risk their lives.
Instead, they say, “we must celebrate the Eid in the current manner that we observe Ramadhan respecting the lockdown rules”.
And with restrictions set to remain in place, Nasser al Wahaibi, said there will be a lot of differences in the celebrations. “This time, in many ways it will be a more sincere Eid,” he said.
Although the coronavirus has forced a change in the customs and traditions, the retired teacher said, “the current situation could help put things in perspective as it is good time for self-reflection”.
Most market places including traditional souqs now wear a deserted look as they are bereft of visitors to prevent the potential spread of the novel coronavirus in Oman.
Salim al Lawati, a bank employee said, “We have sacrificed a lot till now and should not allow our efforts to go waste by venturing out for the sake of shopping. Any negligence will not only put our lives but even those close to us in danger”.
While urging others to tone down celebrations by staying at home, not crowding markets, Abdul Reda from Lebanon reminded that all are now battling a pandemic and the best way to avoid catching it is by staying at home.
“Don’t celebrate. There are people who have lost their livelihoods and are struggling to make ends meet. Let us coming to their help,” he said.
Abdul Rauf, an Indian national, said this year Eid will be totally different from the years before as the festival is mainly based on family gatherings, going out with family etc.
“We are currently going through a situation that we never thought of. But most of us are fortunate enough to still be able to do what we want to do. But think of people without jobs or who are struggling to feed themselves,” he said.
Mudassar Raza from Pakistan is more optimistic. “I wish to see the virus gone and for it to stop spreading so life can go back to its normal. We can celebrate the Eid next year.”
Photo for illustrative purpose only.