Morocco: Thirty-Six Hours of Eid

Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan. Families and neighbors gather from all across the country to break their fast and celebrate together. Brantley and I were excited for our first Eid but we weren’t sure what to expect. So here are our thirty-six hours of Eid:

Thursday

2:00 Arabic class ended so my friends and I grabbed a quick lunch and then headed over to the square for henna, a plant-based dye for skin and hair. It’s used as decoration especially for Eid and it washes off after about a week.

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5:30 Brantley and I studied at home for a bit and finished our homework.

7:35 The sun set and so we ate iftar with our family. Iftar is a very large meal eaten after sunset during Ramadan and usually involves several dishes and a lot of bread. It’s always delicious!

8:00 Midway through dinner, the news announced that Eid would be on Friday. Before then, we didn’t know if it would be Friday or Saturday since it is based on the phase of the moon. I was very excited because it meant class was cancelled for the next day!

9:00 We went out to the square with some friends. The souq was filled with people and music! There were giant tents filled with fancy couches and families and a lot of people selling goods.

Friday Eid al-Fitr

10:00 Brantley and I got to enjoy our first day of sleeping in. Our host mom woke us up and gave us each a jeleba, which is a long Moroccan dress for daily wear or special occasions. We ate cookies and drank fresh juice and mint tea for breakfast. We also got to chat with our host mom and her brother.

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12:00 I painted for a couple of hours, which I hadn’t been able to do in forever.

3:00 We watched Morocco play Iran in the FIFA World Cup, but unfortunately Morocco lost. Soccer is a huge sport here and everyone heads out to cafes to watch the games.

4:00 We had a wonderful meal with fresh vegetables and fruits and, of course, even more cookies.

5:30 Everyone took a nap after dinner, which I really appreciated.

7:30 We headed over to our Moroccan grandma’s house and met a bunch of family members. We drank coffee and ate couscous and more cookies (it really is a holiday about sweets), while chatting with them for hours.

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12:00 At midnight, the day was over and so was Eid. We got some sleep and looked ahead to our early morning train to Asilah.

Eid gave us the opportunity to spend more time with our family, but it always was a great reason to eat a lot of cookies!

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