Delhi holds a solid historical significance with roots going back to the Mughal era and even beyond. The entire Old Delhi region, also known as Delhi 6 gets beautifully decorated during Eid. The famous Jama Masjid becomes jam-packed with devotees offering their prayers. Thousands of men offering ‘namaz’ early morning on Eid is surely a sight to behold. This Eid, let’s experience the spirit of this celebration in Old Delhi! By Swastika Mukhopadhyay
Eid is celebrated extravagantly in the national capital, which projects out a joyous and colourful vibe during the festival. This celebration of the spirit of brotherhood brings everyone together and diminishes the differences brought up by religion. Even the ones who do not follow Islam participate in this beautiful celebration and enjoy it.
On the morning of Eid, the air fills up with religious chanting of the men offering ‘namaz’ at the Jama Masjid, Fatehpuri Masjid, Hazrat Nizamuddin Dargah and other mosques around the city, thus marking the end of the holy month of Ramzan.
Old Delhi functions as a celebration hub during Eid. There is a cheerful hustle-bustle on the streets of Chandni Chowk in the backdrop of namaz being offered at Jama Masjid. The streets are adorned with decorations and you could see the people well-dressed for the occasion and wishing each other ‘Eid Mubarak’ with a warm hug. They exchange gifts and enjoy good meals together. The elders give ‘eidee’, which is a sort of token money to the children. They also celebrate the festival by donating to the underprivileged.
As you stroll the narrow lanes of Chandni Chowk, an aroma of freshly cooked chicken biryani and mutton curry will slowly fill your nostrils and you will feel yourself pulled towards the restaurants. Apart from Biryani and mutton curry you will find yourself falling for those juicy and tender kebabs. If your senses drag you to Karim’s, don’t forget to get a bowl of Phirni — a dish prepared with rice and milk and served on various occasions. You can also try the Chicken Korma at Al Jawahar. Also, don’t forget to try the most famous Eid-special sewai, a dish made of vermicelli.
You will also find various shops selling traditional jewellery and clothing here. If you are a shopaholic, don’t forget to check those out. But the most fascinating tradition which you will stumble upon here is the ritual of Zakat, which literally means blessing, purification and goodness — is a form of alms giving as a religious obligation or tax. Several people sit in front of restaurants during Eid to avail free food. People believe that on Eid it is obligatory to pay zakat.
If you are here in Delhi for Eid, you should definitely make your way to Old Delhi.