Eid-ul-Fitr 2020: Video-conferencing iftaar, online gifts and other ways to celebrate the festival amid coronavirus lockdown
Governments across the world and Islamic leaders have urged the Muslim community to offer Eid prayers from home and not congregate in large numbers
The holy month of Ramadan is nearing its end and Muslims across the world are gearing to celebrate Eid- al-Fitr or Eid-ul-Fitr. The celebrations include large feasts, family gatherings, and exchange of gifts. However, festivities for Eid al-Fitr 2020 will be a subdued as most countries are under lockdown to contain the spread of COVID-19 .
Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated on the day when the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky. In India, the festival is likely to be celebrated either on 24 May or 25 May. Eid-al-Fitr is also called the festival of breaking the fast. During entire month of Ramadan, Muslims observe a fast from dawn to dusk.
As large gatherings are prohibited and people have been asked to maintain social distancing, Eid celebrations this year will be different. Governments across the world and Islamic leaders have urged the Muslim community to offer prayers from home and not congregate in large numbers. Furthermore, Darul Uloom Deoband, India's leading Islamic seminary, issued a fatwa urging Muslims to offer Eid prayers at home instead of congregating at mosques.
The Muslim Council of Britain too has issued a similar directive asking people to observe Eid keeping the COVID-19 situation in mind. Muslims are being encouraged to celebrate Eid from home, and virtually with friends and family.
Saudi Arabia will enforce a 24-hour countrywide curfew during the five-day Eid-al-Fitr holiday. The lockdown will be imposed from 23 to 27 May.
In Turkey, countrywide Eid prayers have been cancelled, as has been the case for Friday prayers since March. The Turkey government has also announced a new four-day curfew during Eid-ul-Fitr across the country to curb the spread of COVID-19 .
Despite the lockdown, one can celebrate the festival keeping in mind the guidelines issued by the governments. Here are five ways you can enjoy Eid-ul-Fitr 2020 while following COVID-19 lockdown rules:
Dress your best: You must have purchased your Eid dress and even though it is lockdown, dress up and motivate your family to do the same. What would be better than a close knit celebration with just the members of your house?
Virtual get together: With most of us staying indoors, you can connect with your friends and family this Eid via video conferencing. Exchange greetings and wish them and assure them of having a grand celebration once the situation normalises.
Virtual Iftaar feast: Since food is one of the most important part of the celebration, plan ahead and whip up a traditional feast. Connect with your relatives on video call and relish the feast together.
Maintain social distancing: There are some areas where people have been allowed to step out. For your safety and well-being, maintain social distancing and wear face masks when you step out. Also, regularly wash your hands and keep them sanitised.
Exchange gifts online: Governments in most part of the world and even in India have allowed e-commerce portals to deliver non-essential goods. If you are worried that you might not get to gift anything to your loved ones this Eid, don't fret. Instead order a gift online and it will be delivered to them.
Read an excerpt from Meghaduta: Abhay K translates Kalidasa's magnum opus for a contemporary audience
Multiple translations of Kalidasa's work in several languages have made the poem accessible to people across centuries. However, in his 2021 translation, poet and editor Abhay K's attempt is to approach Meghaduta with a contemporary lens.
Dutch garden Keukenhof welcomes visitors for tulip season after end of prolonged coronavirus induced lockdown
The Keukenhof lost an entire season last year to the pandemic as the first deadly wave of infections swept over the Netherlands. Its scheduled 20 March opening this year never happened because of the country’s strict virus lockdown.
Ramzan, Navratri guidelines: Maharashtra shuts religious places, Karnataka and UP ban large gatherings; all you need to know
With the beginning of important festivals like Chaitra Navratri and Ramadan or Ramzan, several states have issued guidelines to be followed during the festival