Eid is round the corner and there’s a certain hum in the air heralding the end of a month of fasting which was exceptionally rigorous given the extreme temperatures this time. The Eid bazaars are lit through the night, as people throng to them after breaking the fast in the evening. Then there’s mehendi and bangles which are part of the frenzied rush to the markets on Chaand Raat, the night the moon is sighted and Eid is declared. The festive feel includes new clothes and the most important — Eidi money, the crisp currency that all children look forward to accumulating! The little ones will move around in groups accosting elders like Shylock and won’t rest until the purse strings are loosened!

The concept of Eidi can be a bit daunting for anyone not familiar with this tradition. What’s the right thing to do when we go to greet a friend on Eid? Do we go over with a gift? Or something for the children? Does it have to be cash? If so how much is a decent amount? Too embarrassed to ask we often stumble through the awkward situations going totally on hearsay! Well here’s the thing: most Muslim households have a very casual open house evening thing going if not a more formal dinner by invite kind. It’s quite alright to drop in, rather, you must drop in to wish them Eid, but it’s not necessary to carry gifts. However you may give the younger members some Eidi and make their day! Eidi is a token and it’s not about the amount. In fact, as children we used to love receiving crisp tenners and collected as many as possible and trust me five tenners were more coveted than a 100 rupee note… Go figure!

Flowers are another safe bet and are always welcome! Apart from this just dress up and land up at your friend’s, neighbour’s, casual acquaintance’s place and give them a hug… the right way to greet everyone on Eid! Yes that’s right, get that out of the way before attacking all the sumptuous food!

By Tazeen Husain for Now Lucknow

Tazeen is a freelance writer and blogs by the name of Dreamer Forever. She calls herself a social warrior, and has a witty and incisive take on social issues that’s hard to ignore.