Our American Eid

Henna art

Six years have passed since our last Eid holiday in the United States.  Our first Eid abroad was in Yemen, then Saudi Arabia, followed by Oman, Indonesia, and Ethiopia.  Each country and culture adds their distinct flavor to the religious holiday, but none can compare to the American Eid experience.

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Given the unique circumstances of the Muslim community in America, there is no uniquely American Muslim dress.  Ladies and men swap and borrow both Eastern and Western styles of dress regardless of their ethnic heritage.  Arab, Indian, and African fashions were interspersed amongst American suits and ties, blouses and skirts.  The diversity and festivity of the day was reflected vividly in attire.

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Because Muslims are a minority in the United States, the Eid holiday has to be big and bold enough to rival the religious holidays of others.  Carnivals and festivals following the Eid prayer evidence their desire to make the day memorable.  Horseback riding, inflatable play pens and bungee bouncing replaced cars in the mosque parking.  Stalls for henna painting, ice cream trucks, and bazaar sales wrapped the length of the property.  From prayer to play, the joy was seamless for children and adults alike.

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