It seems like just moments ago that Ramadan began with all our intentions of piety and sacrifice. The month went by quickly. My kids seemed to be more into it this year, and I’m trying my best to expose them to the traditions and rituals I grew up with. More than anything, the kids were excited about Eid, the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan.
I started the day off early in the morning, preparing a sweet milk and vermicelli dish called kheer kurma. In my house, and in most Muslim homes of Indian-Pakistani origin, this is the typical breakfast food for Eid morning. The vermicelli is cooked in the milk along with a variety of nuts and raisins – here are some of the ingredients purchased at our nearby Indo-Pak grocery store:
Before heading out to Rogers Centre for Eid morning prayers, we each sat down to a steaming bowl of this milky treat to nourish us for our outing:
Rogers Centre on Eid morning is a feast for the eyes. Eid prayers are offered in some other smaller, quieter venues near our home, but we prefer the big blast downtown: With approximately ten thousand attendees, the get-together is an incredible display and celebration of the diversity of Muslim people: Africans with flowing kaftans, rosy-cheeked Albanians and Bosnians, Indonesians, Indians, Pakistanis in ornate salwar kameez, Arabs, Russians, and Chinese are just some of the nationalities represented there.
Regardless of their nationality, every participant’s greeting was the same. After prayers, the tradition is to embrace those on either side of you with an enthusiastic "Eid Mubarak!!" I want my children to see and feel the multicultural beauty of their religion – and at Rogers Centre it is gloriously represented:
After the short prayer, we walked over a few feet to the childrens’ play area for some fun and exercise for the kids. This Sesame Street Bouncy Castle was a big hit with my daughter:
After that, we went home to freshen up and let the kids open some gifts (always a highlight for them!) and then over to my brother’s place for Eid lunch with our family. After stuffing ourselves with samosas, kebabs, biryani, paneer sabzi (curried vegetables with cottage cheese), chick pea salad with dill, fresh fruit, mithai (milk-based sweets) and more kheer kurma, we exchanged more gifts before heading home.