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Eid celebrations unite families around the Kingdom

Events took place across 50 venues. (SPA)
Events took place across 50 venues. (SPA)
Events took place across 50 venues. (SPA)
Events took place across 50 venues. (SPA)
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23 Apr 2023 12:04:54 GMT9
23 Apr 2023 12:04:54 GMT9

Rahaf Jambi and Sulafa AlKhunaizi

RIYADH: Saudi families began their preparations for Eid almost 10 days before the big day.

Eid Al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, and each family has its own way of celebrating the three-day annual festival. 

Homes are cleaned, and family members go shopping for their favorite sweets, clothing, furniture and gifts for loved ones. 

Events took place across 50 venues. (SPA)

On the first day of Eid, after offering the Eid prayers, families, friends and relatives traditionally gather at the head of the family’s house to exchange greetings, share gifts and feast on wholesome food.

Young children line up in front of each adult family member before the special Eid feast is served to receive gifts of money. 

“We teach children to spread love and kindness, and to socialize and interact with other children, which makes them eager to attend Eid prayers and celebrate it, said Hatoon Khalid from Jeddah.

“I enjoy taking my children to the mosque and giving them a basket full of candy and money as a giveaway for the other children and adults in the mosque.” 

Jeddah-based Hatoon Nabeel celebrates Eid by gathering in her grandfather’s house with children and grandchildren.

Events took place across 50 venues. (SPA)

“Every Eid, after the Eid prayer, we head to grandfather’s house, where we exchange gifts of money and eat traditional Hijazi food like areeka, masoob, aalabia and many other dishes. Children gather around their uncles and aunts in anticipation of receiving sweets and gift envelopes.”

Basmah Zaki, from Qatif in the Kingdom’s east, has breakfast with her family after Eid prayers and then visits relatives and friends.

“At Eid, my family and I eat lamb meat and rice cooked the traditional Saudi way,” she said.

Events took place across 50 venues. (SPA)

“Some people may choose to have chicken and rice for lunch. For me, the most important part is the Saudi coffee and tea, including dates, mamoul and baklava, and sweets that my family members prepare.”

She added: “Usually children don’t get gifts, they get money, which they are much happier with because it means they can buy themselves whatever they want. Recently, families started gifting other family members with small gifts such as perfume as a gesture of sharing the happiness of Eid.”

Events took place across 50 venues. (SPA)

Faisal Al-Bilal, from the Kingdom’s central region, said once the crescent moon is sighted and the Eid Al-Fitr announcement made, celebrations begin.

“Our custom is to celebrate the holiday known as ‘Hawamat Al-Eid’ in each neighborhood. This holiday is very popular in Riyadh and is celebrated by all children who visit their neighbors’ homes to receive gifts while singing a special song. It has been customary for each neighborhood to bring an ice-cream truck. This custom vanished, but has returned in the past five years.”

He added: “Some neighbors gather in the streets and prepare a feast so that everyone in the neighborhood can enjoy breakfast together. Each house brings food with them, and we eat meat and rice at breakfast that day.”

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