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Eid mubarak! September 9, 2010

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Art, Holidays, Smiley.
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Eid mubarak! Illustration I made on my computer, in celebration of Eid al Fitr.

Depending on where you live, this post is a day early:  Tomorrow is the first day of the Muslim holiday of Eid al Fitr.  It is a joyous celebration at the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting.

(For those of you who might not know a lot about Ramadan, check out my short introduction in the post “Ramadan smiles!“)

It’s been a hot Ramadan here in Abu Dhabi, but it’s also been a serene, reflective month, full of traditional Ramadan kindness and charity, fellowship and community and celebration.

The three-day holiday of Eid al Fitr marks the end of the holy month and is celebrated by eating a modest morning meal then attending special prayers and a sermon in the mosque (similar to Easter Sunday services in Christianity).  To wish Muslims a happy holiday in Arabic, you tell them, “Eid mubarak!” (pronounced “EED moo-BAR-ahk”).

About the symbols in the illustration: Common symbols during Ramadan include lanterns, stars, and the crescent moon, which represent the “light” of the Qur’an as a gift to humanity.  The crescent moon itself, called hilal in Arabic, represents the moon phase at the beginning of each lunar month (Islam uses a lunar calendar) and is especially prevalent.  This style of archway (known as a horseshoe or keyhole arch, sometimes–as here–pointed) is common to Arabic, Moorish, Persian, and Indian architecture, and is also commonly used as a frame for Islamic decorations.  The archway in my illustration is actually the central arch leading into the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi.

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