Muslims across the world celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr to mark the end of the month of Ramadan. In Cape Town, families and friends get together to celebrate the end of a spiritually rewarding month.

Men wearing their finest robes usually gather at mosques across Cape Town for morning Eid prayers. Families would have a delicious lunch feast, and after that go out to visit their extended families and friends.

Due to the COVID-19 lockdown, many people won’t physically get to see their loved ones or attend their mosques. Instead, many will “meet up” via video call to share in the joy of the day.

Families will read special Eid prayers at home. Religious leaders have released instructions on how to do this.

Neighbourhood solidarity

The Salt River Heritage Society invited residents in the neighbourhood to step onto their stoeps in the morning and listen to and recite the Takbir (extolling God). It will also be rendered over the loud speakers of the two mosques in the area for half an hour. Neighbours are encouraged to maintain their physical distance and greet each other from their porches. This idea has been so well received that neighbourhoods such as Bo-Kaap and Kenwyn are doing the same.

See the post below for more about this year’s Eid celebration and about Islam in Cape Town.

Eid at home

Aisha Baker, fashion influencer and founder of Baked Online, is no stranger to lonely Eids.

She writes: “This year we would have been all alone in England while my husband played cricket for Worcestershire Country Cricket Club. I had it all planned out, we would decorate our little home with fairy lights and candles. I would take a drive down to Birmingham to source some halal lamb and I would prepare a roast dinner with veggies and buy a delicious dessert from Marks & Spencer. We would dress up and video call our family in South Africa.

“What I find strangely amusing about this whole plan is that we are stuck in our home country, just minutes away from family but having the same Eid celebration we had always planned! Instead of driving forty minutes to Birmingham from Worcester, I will head to my local halal butcher and grab my desserts at Woolworths instead of M&S. In some ways a more convenient Eid than usual. I will definitely miss moments with my family this year especially my eighty nine year old grandmother who I think about all the time.”

Read the full article and find Aisha on Instagram.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

With @parnygram and I traveling around eid and Ramadan we have gotten used to forming our own little traditions and checking in on our family group or doing a video call with them. We’re definitely feeling so blessed to be together with each other at home this Eid because we have spent Eid without each other before and that was pretty hard. Khalid gets to have both of us around this Eid and that is the best blessing we could ask for. We chose our cozy eid looks from @hm who had a whole host of trendy basics and cosy knits. We chose outfits for ourselves and Khalid that can be easily layered and styled throughout winter! How are you planing to spend your Eid Ul Fitr at home this year? ????✨ – #HMxMe #Ad #EidMubarak. #hmSouthAfrica

A post shared by Aisha Baker (@bakedonline) on

Instagram is the new Waterfront

Comedian Yaaseen Barnes says “looking lekker” is a big part of Eid traditions in Cape Town. The preparation all starts a week before the big day. Homes are spring-cleaned, men go to their barbers for fades (a popular haircut among Capetonian men), cars are cleaned, and new clothes are a must. Aunties head to the supermarkets frantically searching for whipping cream – often hard to find at this time – and other essentials to ensure a feast for their gatherings.

Here’s how Yaaseen plans to keep some Eid traditions alive:

  • Since the family can’t gather at one home and eat at one table, the Barnes clan will video call at lunch time so they can still virtually be together.
  • Greeting neighbours and eating snacks and sweets can’t happen this year so Yaaseen will pretend to visit various neighbours by laying his table with various sweets. Even mixing chocolate peanuts and raisins because you never know what to expect. (FYI chocolate raisins are a disappointment for some.)
  • Yaaseen will be missing Eid prayers at mosque. It’s another place you meet up with many friends on Eid. For Eid prayers at home he plans on hiding his shoes and looking for it – the way people often have to after mosque prayers.
  • It’s tradition to give children money as a gift for fasting the entire month. This year Yaaseen will be sending a picture of R100 note to his nieces and nephews instead.
  • The V&A Waterfront is a gathering spot for many young people to show off their Eid outfits. Since this can’t happen during lockdown, Yaaseen says  Instagram will be the new Waterfront. Expect photo sets of people dressed in their Sunday best.

You can find Yaaseen on Instagram and Twitter.