Dubai: Eid Al Fitr, the celebration, which marks the end of Ramadan, will look very different this year. The three-day public holiday is, under normal circumstances, all about being with your family, visiting friends and having big lunches together. However, the great curveball of 2020, also known as the coronavirus, has caused a change in traditions.
This year, a few rules need to be followed. So let us compare then vs. now:
It is usually customary for Muslims to wake up extra early in the morning and shower, dress in smart clothes then go to the mosque to pray a special Eid prayer.
This year, due to COVID-19, Muslims have been asked to pray the Eid prayers at home. They are also not allowed to host any group prayers.
Big family gatherings in the afternoon, that involve a huge family lunch and lots of people chatting and catching up.
The UAE government has warned against Eid Al Fitr celebrations. So if you want to invite anyone over to your house, you might face a Dh10,000 fine. Do not host a Eid Al Fitr gathering.
Giving away money a.k.a ‘Eid-iya’ to family members. Every year older family members give younger members of the family Eid money. It is always in cash and usually crisp new bills.
The UAE government has discouraged giving Eid money away. Cash can transfer viruses and should not be given away to anyone this holiday.
It is also essential that Muslims donate to charity to help the poor and needy before or after the Eid prayers. You will usually see wealthier memebers of society around the mosque. So you usually squeeze a little bit of cash in their hand.
However, this year, since Eid prayers won’t take place in a mosque, and cash shouldn’t be given away, charity will look a little different this year. Even if you come across someone on the road that you want to help with some cash, please do not give them cash, as it might spread the virus, if you unknowingly have COVID-19. Instead you can contribute virtually to many charities. We’ve compiled a list here that you can check out.
Eid grooming rituals
There are usually also smaller, yet still significant things Muslims did to enjoy the annual occasion. Buying new Eid clothes for example or going to the salon and barber for a fresh Eid haircut or a manicure.
All things that are technically legal to do now, since salons and shopping malls will be open from 9am until 7pm each day, with a two-hour limit on visits, however you should always proceed with caution and consider skipping your usual self-care activities, just to be extra safe.