It is Eid and I am sad. I am in India, miles away from my family aka parents, brothers, cousins, aunties and uncles. I got my smaller family with me and we are going to make the most of it but it is not home. Eid for me was the ultimate festival back home. All my cousins, family friends ( mostly Christians) will come to hang for the day so the house was packed. We would cook tonnes of food: french fries, mustard onion sauce with olives and barbecue mutton among other delicacies. The entire day my Mother would busy herself making the house appropriate, first barking orders to the help and aunties to clean it entirely and then bask it in incense. My Dad who is allergic would retreat to the backyard washing the mutton with my brothers and uncles. Then before the guests would arrive, my Dad would have sacrificed the sheep, cleaned it, carved it and handed it over to my Mother who would season and cook it. It was a long process and often we would eat in the late afternoon. But we did not complain much as we had other entrees to snack on, and all these people to have fun with. Then around five, everyone would disappear. We would all wear our best attire and go visit relatives and friends. For women, it was a pleasure to walk around in high stilettos, decked in jewelry and fresh braids or Senegalese twists, they new dress recently stitched in the latest style. It was like a fashion show. The ambiance was peaceful and jovial. The children would go door to door asking for Ndeweneul or money offered during those occasions.
Over the last few years, I spent Eid at my in laws and although we were a smaller group, it was still fun. My mother in law would insist on getting us new clothes, oversee the entire mutton barbecue operation and throw us out of the house as soon as we finished eating and cleaning up so that we could go visit relatives. I would work all day and look like Cinderella before the ball because I had charcoal stains all over my clothes, and on my hands and sometimes face. But the fun part was turning into Cinderella afterwards. Dressing up the kids to match their Dad's clothes was so cute as well. And boy, they all looked so handsome.
I miss all that. I miss my family the most during those times. I could celebrate on my own but it will never be the same. And since I do not have friends to invite or visit here, I just went out for a nice lunch. Here is hoping for a better Eid next year Inchallah.
Anyway, wishing you all Happy Eid Al Adha wherever you are and whomever you are spending it with.