Eid fete confined to homes

MUSCAT: Amid dusk-to-dawn lockdown, Eid al Adha celebrations this year have seen many positive features.

“Yes, it is different, but we understand the situation,” said Zahir al Sulaimani.  “What is interesting is that the senior members of the family have begun to use new means of social communication.  I have also noticed there are no huge meals which used to cause wastage of food.”

Many carried out the sacrificial slaughtering of goats and sheep as per the custom but along with the instructions of municipalities and the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries.

What was also in focus was the emotions and this is what Safiya Adam Mohammed said, “To be honest our Eid did not change much from last Eid, well except that we cannot go out past 7 pm.  Usually I like to cruise in my car with the kids in the evening so this Eid we did it earlier.  No visitors and no visiting from our side that rule still applies from last Eid.  What we are doing this time, which we did last Eid as well, is prepare a lot of family games and quizzes.  Of course there is a family photoshoot and lots of desserts and coffee.”

As for others who could not reach home as they were working in Muscat, it was the online tools that kept the families connected.  It has been so for the expatriate families in Oman too.

Azra Aleem, from Pakistan, reflected on the traditions of Eid al Adha, “Eid al Adha is a public holiday and is a major Islamic festival that takes place at the end of the Haj. Every year, Muslims globally sacrifice domestic animals to commemorate the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) to follow Allah’s command to sacrifice his son.”

She explained the significance of the sacrifice, “Some people buy the animal a month before while others buy the animal a day before Eid al Adha.  On this day there are a lot of festivities but the sacrifice is the most important. After the sacrifice, Muslims cook the meat or visit their neighbours and friends.”

This year because of COVID-19, there have been many changes and it has affected everyone. Due to the lockdown in many countries, many have decided not to gather for Eid celebrations. Many of the slaughterhouses have provided services for people to sacrifice their animal with safety precautions.

“Those living in Oman are maintaining social distancing and obeying the guidelines implemented by the Supreme committee. People are opting to send greetings via social media only. We pray for the end of COVID19 and hope everyone is able to have their celebrations soon,” she said.