Ramadan is all about charity, sharing, reaching out to the less fortunate and thanking God for what you have. Eid-Al-Fitr marks the end of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan and is mainly a family celebration. This particular Eid sees the largest migration as 1.2 billion Muslims around the world make plans to be with the family. According to the Gulf News: 14.8 million in Indonesia were expected to head to their homes and 1.2 million cars in Malaysia were expected to hit the nations biggest highway.
Generally Eid-Al-Fitr is celebrated by an early morning prayer, a special meal with home-baked sweets for desert; they wear new clothes and in some countries ‘Eidi’ (money for Eid) is given to the children.
Now, having said that, what I saw for Eid celebrations in Madrid were slightly different. I went to a Ramadan/Eid tent where Sudanese music artist Rasha rocked the crowd with tunes in Arabic to afro-reggae-jazz-Arabic music; free Arabic tea and sweets were served and you could hear the odd person saying ‘Eid Mubarak’.
However more than the Eid spirit, was the amount of alcoholic ‘spirit’ I could see around me. People brought in liters of beer and calimochos (red-wine and cola), and were smoking pot in same tent along with their Muslim friends who were celebrating the end of their fasting for the religious festival. Having lived in a Muslim country for a significant period of life (alcohol is forbidden in Islam), I found this rather sacrilegious but I suppose inevitable at the same time.
Should bringing alcohol into a Ramadan tent have been forbidden? How can you experience the different cultures of a multi-cultural society without insulting the tradition and hurting democracy at the same time?