Joy in the air as Eid nears

MUSCAT: The Sultanate is all set to celebrate Eid al Fitr along with the rest of the Muslim world in the coming days, with the joy of having completed the fasting month of Ramadhan and in tandem with the Omani customs and traditions. Preparations for Eid al Fitr in the Sultanate begin much before the announcement of the month of Shawwal. All of the family get ready with new clothes, and also shop for Omani halwa, spices, nuts and other supplies.
Some people buy livestock, including sheep and camels, prior to Eid from local markets and Habtas, which are held before Eid in various wilayats. They also purchase other essential commodities for the holiday from different markets in the Sultanate. The citizens are keen on buying Omani sweets on the occasion, as it is a symbol of their hospitality. It is customary for the Omani people on the first day of Eid al Fitr to prepare popular dishes such as Al Arsiya, Al Harees or Al Qaboli, and eat them in the morning before the Eid prayers.
People go to the local mosque or join any other prayer gathering for Eid prayers, after which they exchange greetings and wishes. Families then visit their relatives to exchange Eid greetings. Children are happy to receive from elders the Eidiyah, the money given to kids on the occasion. All families prepare special Eid delicacies, of which Omani ‘mishkak’ and ‘shuwa’ have special taste and flavour. Very popular and favourite, these dishes sweeten the Eid al Fitr celebrations.
One of the traditional events that children eagerly await on the first day of Eid is ‘Al Ayoud’, when citizens give away sweets, toys, nuts, mishkak, soft drinks and other consumer items. This usually takes place in the morning inside or near the central market or in an open place in the wilayat.
In various wilayats, Eid is celebrated with traditional songs, specially Al Razha, accompanied by drums and horns. — ONA