No this is not a post about Islam vs Christianity, and I would never step into that territory, but what I wanted to talk about here is how these celebrations are similar and different.
We all know that Eid is the day of celebration for Muslims to end the 30 days of fasting and meet with their families and friends, and Christmas is the same kind of thing for Christians (except of course no fasting involved). But let’s look at the traditions involved in both and compare them.
|Prayer||Morning prayer at the local Mosque||Prayer at midnight on the night before Christmas day, some countries also have prayer on Christmas day.|
|What does the day represent?||The end of the fasting month||The birth of Jesus Christ.|
|Cards||Eid cards are sent to family and friends||Christmas cards are sent out to family and friends|
|Gifts||Gifts are given to friends and family, and often money is given to children.||Gifts are given to friends and family.|
|Icons – religious||Mosques and moons||Churches, mangers, three kings, shepherds, angels, etc|
|Icons – traditional||None||Christmas Trees|
|Icons – commerical||None||Father Christmas|
|Celebrations||Open house – for days afterwards the family will constantly have food available to all friends and family to come and eat any time and share the food and meet up.||Christmas day families usually have a lunch or dinner with family and friends.|
|Build up to Celebration day||Muslims fast from dawn to dusk for 30 days.||Christians party and overindulge in food and drink with office parties and get-togethers building up to Christmas day.|
|Food||(Depends on the culture) Usually rice, meat, dates, fruit and cookies….anything really that that culture would eat for any celebration. Often a buffet format because there are many different people coming and going during the day at different times.||(Depends on the culture) Usually Christmas cake, roast turkey, gravy, roast potatoes, roast vegetables, cranberry sauce, Christmas pudding, brandy sauce, etc|
|After Celebration day||Muslims spend the next two months visiting family and friends and preparing themselves to take Hajj if they can afford it.||Christians usually have the week off holidaying or relaxing at home. Depending on where you live in the world, holiday periods vary, e.g. in the southern hemisphere Christmas time often coincides with the summer holidays for children, so families may take 2-3 weeks off. In the northern hemisphere is it winter so usually children go back to school after a week, so holidays are shorter.|
So what comes out of this is that even though these are two different religions with different meanings and different celebrations, the common elements are food, gifts, holidays, family and friends….at the end of the day….we are all human!
For me it’s Eid that is my celebration, so for all my Muslim friends, family, readers and followers, when Eid comes, I want to wish you all an EID MUBARAK!