Story by Sydney McIntyre
Eid is a global event celebrated throughout South Asia and the Middle East. M. Talha Qureshi came to CSU-Pueblo from Pakistan, and he shared this piece of his culture Wednesday as students gathered to celebrate the holiday of Eid-ul-Adha.
People on this holiday greet each other by saying “Eid Mubarak.” Mubarak means blessed, and this holiday is much similar to the American holidays of Thanksgiving and Christmas. At this cultural event, Qureshi began with a welcome to all who were present, followed by a brief explanation of the significance of the holiday. A traditional Indian meal was served, which is commonly the dish for celebrants of Eid in South Asia. Food at the event was catered by a local restaurant called “Mr. Tandoori.”
“Unlike Thanksgiving or Christmas, Eid comes twice a year” Qureshi said. “The dates are not similar on the calendar because they are according to the moon sighting in the Islamic calendar.”
There are two festivals of Eid. The first is called Eid ul-Fitr, which comes once Muslims fast for 30 days of Ramadan.
“From sunrise to sunset, they must fast for the 30 days, which observes the spirit of humanity,” Qureshi said. “And after the 30 days of Ramadan, comes Eid-ul-Fitr, which means Eid of sweets. This is when we all get fat from eating desserts,” he joked.
The second festival is known as Eid al-Adha or Bakr-id, the Feast of Sacrifice. This is one of the most important feasts on the Islamic calendar. Eid al-Adha falls on the 10th day of Dhul Hijjah, which is the twelfth month of the Islamic calendar. As the exact day is based on lunar sightings, the date may vary between countries. It concludes the time of pilgrimage to Mecca.
Eid-ul-Adha lasts for three days and commemorates Ibraham’s (Abraham) willingness to obey God by sacrificing his son. Muslims believe that son to be Ismael rather than Isaac as told in the Old Testament scripture.
The feast re-enacts Ibrahim’s obedience by offering animals that are allowed to be sacrificed in Islam. Celebrants utilize about a third of the animal’s meat and donate another third to the poor. The remaining third is shared with the family members.
A greeting on this holiday is to hug three times, right, left and then right again. As far as greetings between men and women are concerned, they don’t greet physically, which is a culture norm, no shaking hands or hugging one another.
The celebrations of Eid are held on campus every year and sponsored by the Diversity Resource Center.