Eid-ul-Fitr, or Eid, for short, is another of our religious holidays - this one, however, is Muslim in origin. It is the holiday that follows the holy fasting month of Ramadan, celebrated by devout Muslims the world over. The Islamic year is based upon a 13-month lunar calendar. Ramadan starts on the first day of the tenth month, Shawwal, heralded by the sighting of the new Moon.
Local observations of this holy occasion are much the same as in other parts of the world - prayers are said five times a day, and it is a strict period of fasting - dedicated Muslims do not allow themselves food or water between sunrise and sunset during this sacred time, which lasts for about 28 to 30 days until the new Moon is once again seen.
Eid is marked by visits to local mosques, offerings of charity to the less fortunate, and of course the gathering of friends and family.
The day itself revolves around the renewal of family ties - "family" being rather extensive - encompassing aunts, uncles, distant cousins, and often neighbors and friends. This is very unique to our islands - everyone we like is automatic "family"! Preparing and eating delicious dishes, like all other Trinbagonian observances, is an integral part of the proceedings, with everyone laughing and talking as they mill around the kitchen. And if you manage to get through the delectable meal without feeling completely full, dessert tops everything off with the traditional sweets, halwa, and sawine, being served.