I remember Eid mornings as a child vividly. I’d hear my father waking my younger brother, Wajdie, to go to mosque for Eid prayers. And as soon as I could smell my mother’s freshly baked bread come wafting through the house, I’d hop out of bed.
We’d have corned beef with the bread which was dripping with butter and my father’s favourite steak pie. She’d set the table with the pink rose tea set and plates that were reserved for special occasions. I always felt like a princess because they had gold trimming.
After my brother and father had left for mosque it was my job to set the table. It was basically putting pan peanuts, Whispers, and dried fruit into bowls, and setting biscuits out on a plate for the visitors who would come to greet. Hardly brain surgery but I felt important.
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I’d put out the best glasses and place the serviettes in them the way my older cousin had shown me at a birthday party before. Being a kid with my mother’s back turned it was quite easy to pop a Whisper or a chip here and there.When they got back from mosque we’d say Eid Mubarak to each other and we’d put on our Eid clothes.
This was exciting because we had gone shopping weeks before for the blue dress and green stockings my mother bought me. To this day she maintains it was the height of fashion, “straight off the runway”. She says, “I bought it at a little boutique in Camps Bay."
Looking back I shudder to think that I allowed her to dress me like this and convince me that this actually looked good. A mother’s word is powerful, I tell you. Wajdie was quite pleased with his dassie though and would point it out to all and sundry.
The rest of the day was spent greeting various aunties, uncles and cousins. The family would always give us some money and, for some reason, people always gave Wajdie more. I suspect it was because he was cuter than me. And he had that dassie story he kept telling.
Lunch times were a feast. My mother would set the table with this beautiful blue and white fine china set and we each got a little bowl with hot water in to clean our hands at the table. My father always loved a pot of crayfish curry for Eid but my mother would also make corned tongue and roast chicken. And then there were the desserts: peppermint pudding and malva pudding with custard. Some years there was even Pavlova!
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This year it’s my first Eid as a married woman and while I will miss my mother’s home and the smell of her delicious kitchen, I look forward to making memories for my own children one day.
What family traditions do you follow on Eid? Which do you remember from when you were little? Tell us by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and we may share it with our readers.