Thursday, October 2, 2014

A Typical Omani Eid

Briefly, I wanted to mention what happens during a typical Omani Eid in a village. Each family or village celebrates a bit differently, so this is a general overview. There are two major Eids, Eid Fitr and Eid Adha which are religious-based occasions. During Eid, most Omanis return to their tribal villages. Omanis call their hometowns 'balad' which also means country.

Most Omanis buy new outfits, tubans, kumas, candoras for Eid. The women's condoras are hand-tailored and in bright jewel-like colours with 'blingy' embroidered embellishments.  Early in the morning the family greets each other and then they go to the mosque for prayer. During the day, Omanis visit all their relatives in the village. At each house, ample food is provided. Fresh fruits, helwa and Omani coffee and dates are traditionally always available.

A typical house has a male and female majlis (sitting room). Sometimes, they visit the village 'Majlis' to greet everyone if the village still has one. Greetings is very important in the culture especially for elders. On the second day, sometimes, the first day of Eid (if an Omani is married to a girl from outside his village) he will take her to visit her village and relatives, Visiting of relatives can last late into the night and be exhausting but uplifting. Children can expect to be given candy and small amounts of money during Eid.

Also, on Eid food is prepared and animals are slaughtered. Most Omanis still have knowledge of animal husbandry and keep goats and cows on their farms. The animals are slaughtered in a halal way to minimize suffering on the animals part, generally, either in the late afternoon or early in the morning by men in the village. It takes four to five men to prepare the cow. The whole family is involved in readying the meat- the men clean the animal and the women 'chop' and cook.

In the afternoons, some towns still have traditional music & dance and horse racing. After lunch, a nap is practical. Some of the Eid traditions are slowly becoming obsolete. Omanis still have strong tribal bonds and a part of their sense of identity springs from their tribe. I apologize if I failed to cover some aspects, but I wanted to keeps this brief and it's already getting long. Happy Eid to all.

Common greetings on Eid Adha:

كل عام وانتم بخير
Kul Aam wa antum Boukair

عيدك مبارك

eidak Mubarak

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