Eid Exasperations Exposed: Holiday gripes 'n' grumbles killing the Feast of Sacrifice

Published October 13th, 2013 - 18:17 GMT

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Pigging out and weight gain from the holidays
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Image 1 of 10: Pigging out in Eid: Big rice and meat dishes, sundries and pastry desserts dripping in grease and cream don’t fit a healthy lifestyle -- as won’t your jeans after the festival.

man spending cash on women
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Image 1 of 10: Male relations are the traditional gift givers. They must spend on all the females of the family, from sisters to wives and daughters -- and seemingly everybody's ‘young’, which is quite the big spending! One honest man told us that he dreaded his sister's Eid visit - his bank balance couldn't bear the weight of another Eidieyeh (or Eid gift!)

Arabic family gathering
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Image 1 of 10: Family visits feel like a drag? Door to door Eid greetings mean awkward silences, saccharine smiles and pleasantries exchanged to the death. Not enough moons have lapsed since the last Eid 6 weeks ago to miss seeing relatives we avoid for the rest of the year. Embarrassing cousin confusion ensues. Is Mustafa married/ when was the wedding anyway?

meat dress lady gaga
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Image 1 of 10: You got away with vegetarian habits for Eid Al Fitr, but it'll be that much harder to duck out of this lamb fest. With each family sacrificing a sheep or 3, the only veggie options come on the side. While a ritual to mark the completion of Hajj, just as well the Adha meat sacrifice doubles as supper. A shame cold lamb is not quite cold turkey.

shopping for Eid holidays
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Image 1 of 10: Shopping is fun, when you’re buying that new Dior purse or YSL skirt for a fancy function. But when you’re buying a $100 pair of trousers (as per the Eid tradition of new clothes) to be gazed at by the quibbling eyes of elderly relatives, not so much. Those dinars or liras would go a long way on that next shindig or even dare we say it, date!

woman reading paper in bed
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Image 1 of 10: Eid is all fun and games - and is especially so for people with Quranic leanings. However, if you are a non-Muslim, then you don’t get to see your Muslim friends because they are tied up with friends and family. And an evening without your fun loving Muslim friends is not much of an evening at all!

closed shopes in Eid
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Image 1 of 10: Many of your favorite Middle Eastern haunts are closed during the Eid holiday, or just maintain unhelpful opening hours. Although most of the shops are open, it’s the places that you really need during your own 'downtime' that go into lockdown. Like the gym: while those sheep have departed - some one has to take care of the calories left behind.

Airport Hajj
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Image 1 of 10: Airport jam: During Eid, the streets of your town become as empty as a deserted desert. However, the airports become as full as a deserted desert filled with thousands of returning Hajj pilgrims, not to mention Eid holiday-makers. With the long airport lines, you’ll begin to wonder if taking airplanes is really the fastest form of travel.

Halal meat
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Image 1 of 10: For the animal-loving or faint-hearted, look away now. The slaughtering of sheep is key to this Eid - so for the squeamish expats, unused to seeing rivers of halal blood running through the streets, the slaughterhouse vibe or stench of freshly butchered meat is unpalatable. Better stick to your veggies indoors if you have a penchant for PETA.

Eid chocolates
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Image 1 of 10: Cookie funds: Home ovens around the Middle East go on strike during Eid. People stop baking their own cookies, peer pressured to buy commercial cookies and 'Patchi' chocolate gifts. And these high end chocolates can feel as expensive as buying gold jewelry. At times, you might feel like you need to sell your gold jewelry to afford treats!

Muslims around the world - it’s OK. You can say it. No need to look sheepish -- at times, Eid can be trying. Yes, Eid Al Adha is that wonderful occasion where family and friends can come together and celebrate, eat and catch up...but this Feast of Sacrifice is also a time when you must surrender your right to a carefree break...the time of year when all of your nosey relatives ask unwanted prying questions about all things personal and drive you up the proverbial wall. When traffic overlaps curiously with standstill and quiet as workers shut up shop. 

Although definitely #firstworldproblems considering the plight of the thousands of Syrian refugees displaced across the region, as well as widespread poverty and hardship throughout the region, for some, anticipation of Eid Al Adha festivities leads to heart palpitations and profuse sweating that has nothing to do with health problems or the sunny Arab climate!

Many Grinch-like Christians have embraced their contempt of Christmas and it’s time for Muslims to stop beating around the bush and tap into their inner Eid scrooge!

Many of us are still recovering from the tummy aches associated with the excess amounts of sweets we so willingly scoffed (accepting those second and third helpings foisted on us by generous friends and family) during Eid Al Fitr a month and a half ago as we hear our families finalize plans for -- WHAT?! Eid Al Adha, already? Encore une fois?

With an abundance of delicious food served and several days off work, what could possibly go wrong?

As Islam celebrates the sacrifice the prophet Ibrahim made when offering his son to God, the streets across the Arab world turn into a slaughterhouse, with every Muslim family traditionally killing a sheep on the holiday in a bid to repay the sacrifice.

It is not only the holiday’s eating rituals that make it a ‘pain in the adha’ for many Muslims: With men of the family having to dole out cash to every female they’ve ever clapped eyes on and with many of us forking out for new clothes for your legions of nieces and nephews so soon after bleeding the bank account dry during Eid Al Fitr, not everyone is excited about this Eid encore.

From the slaughter of sheep to airport traffic, here is Eid exposed - a full disclosure of all the good, the bad and the ugly of the holy holiday dished out in 10 of the biggest grumbles.

 

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