Celebrating EID in STL: A Personal Reflection

Last Tuesday, Aug. 21, the day of Eid, I woke up an hour earlier than I wake up for school.

That may sound a bit odd, but it really isn’t. On Eid, Muslims often take a day off of school to go to the prayer and celebrate the holiday with their family and friends. Eid Prayer is conducted around 9 in the morning.

Eid is like a Muslim’s Christmas in regards to the overall traditions, except we have two. Eid al Fitr marks the end of the month of Ramadan and Eid al Adha is called the “Greater Eid.” It is a holiday known for sacrifice, dating back to the sacrifice made by Abraham the prophet, which is often talked about in the Quran, the religious text about Islam. Both of the Eids depend on the lunar cycle so the dates change every year.

It takes a while to get ready and dressed for Eid. Muslims usually wear traditional clothes that reflect the fashion that is trending in their countries of descent. The clothes are usually brand new to symbolize the beginning of something new. It is very important to keep up with the fashion: You never know when you’ll spot an outfit for the next Eid.

Muslims in St. Louis go out and pray on the day of Eid, and many mosques host sessions. Usually the most well-known mosques organize an Eid prayer in arenas, such as the Family Arena or the St Charles Convention Center. This year it was held in the St. Louis Outlet Mall in Hazelwood. The Outlet Mall is mostly abandoned, leaving a lot of space to gather thousands of Muslims.  

Muslims at MHS reconnect as they see each other at the Eid prayer, and we make the most of the little time we have to chit chat before the prayer.

Eid prayer ends about 11 am, depending on what venue is holding the prayer. From there, Muslims go to work, to family gatherings, to school or back home. I spent the rest of Eid catching up with my family and family friends.

I’ve never been a religious person, but I’ve always enjoyed celebrating Eid because it is more than just religion– it is about awareness, family and community.