What is Eid and Eid celebrations in Maldives?
Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are two of the most important festivals observed by Muslims worldwide. These two festivals have a particular place in the hearts of the Maldivians, who celebrate them with tremendous zeal and devotion. In this essay, we will look more closely at Eid celebrations in Maldives.
The holiday of Eid al-Fitr commemorates the completion of the holy month of Ramadan. Muslims fast from dawn to sunset during the month of Ramadan, and the Eid al-Fitr festival is a time for celebration after a month of sacrifice and devotion. The Maldives, a Muslim-majority country, celebrates Eid al-Fitr with fervour and excitement. On Eid, Muslims in the Maldives dress in new garments and offer special prayers in mosques. They also give and receive presents and treats from friends and relatives. In the evening, family gathers for a large feast to mark the end of Ramadan with pleasure and happiness.
Eid al-Adha, also known as the Festival of Sacrifice, commemorates Prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham’s) willingness to sacrifice his son as an act of allegiance to Allah. But, at the last moment, Allah exchanged his son with a ram, and Ibrahim’s faith was rewarded.
Muslims around the world mark this occasion by slaughtering an animal, generally a goat or a sheep, and distributing the meat to the poor and needy. Eid al-Adha is observed in a similar manner in the Maldives. In addition, Muslims in the Maldives do special prayers at mosques and sacrifice animals, which are then distributed to the poor and needy.
Traditional Eid al-Adha festivities
Bodumas Beynun “Whale Fishing”
Bodumas Beynun is a centuries-old practice that is strongly ingrained in Maldives culture. It is a collaborative endeavour in which groups of men meet on the beach before sunrise to weave a life-size model of a whale out of coconut palm leaves. The weaving of the Bodumas can take several hours and takes a lot of skill and coordination.
When the Bodumas are finished, they are lifted onto a makeshift raft made of coconut trunks and pushed out to sea by the men. The goal is to catch the Bodumas and bring them back to shore, which would represent a successful whale hunt. The Bodumas may weigh up to 1,000 pounds, and the Maldives is notorious for its strong currents and turbulent waters, so this mission will be difficult.
As the raft is pushed out to sea, the men shout traditional Bodumas melodies, creating a rhythmic and melodic chorus that echoes across the beach. The songs are an important component of Maldives Eid festivities and are passed down from generation to generation, keeping the custom alive.
After the Bodumas is caught, it is carried back to shore, and the village gathers to celebrate. The catch is divided among the participants and their families, with the remainder handed to the community. The Bodumas Beynun is a time for families and friends to get together, exchange food, and celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Boduberu “Big Drums”
Boduberu performances are often performed by a group of drummers, dancers, and singers. The drummers use a set of enormous, cylindrical drums made of hollowed-out coconut tree trunks wrapped with stretched cowhide or goat skin. The dancers, clad in colourful traditional costumes, move to the beat of the drums, while the singers chant verses in a call-and-response style. The lyrics of the songs mainly focus around subjects such as love, nature, and the Maldives way of life.
During Eid, Boduberu performances take on a celebratory and happy tone. People of all ages gather to witness the performances, which are presented in public places such as parks, beaches, and community centres. The sound of the drumming and singing fills the air, creating a lively mood. Youngsters rush around, while adults sit and enjoy the entertainment, clapping and swaying to the music.
What do people make feast on Eid celebrations in Maldives?
Eid celebrations in Maldives are a time of joy, unity, and feasting. The Maldives take great pleasure in its food, which is a fusion of Indian, Sri Lankan, and Arabic flavours. On Eid, relatives and friends gather to make a rich spread of food, which is subsequently shared.
Eid al-Fitr is a time of immense excitement for Muslims as they break their fast and feast on delectable food. Hedhikaa is a famous Eid al-Fitr dish which is made during eid celebrations in Maldives. It is a platter of fried delicacies that may contain fish rolls, chicken rolls, vegetable cutlets, and samosas. These appetisers are served with sweet and spicy sauces and are an essential part of the Eid feast.
Garudiya, a clear fish soup eaten with steaming rice, is another traditional Eid al-Fitr dish. Tuna fish is boiled with onions, garlic, curry leaves, and other spices to make the soup. It’s a light and tasty dish ideal for breaking the fast after a month of fasting.
Another popular Eid al-Fitr dish made during eid celebrations in Maldives is Dhon Riha. It is a coconut-based tuna fish curry. Coconut milk, onions, garlic, ginger, and spices such as cumin, coriander, and turmeric are used to make the curry. It’s a rich and filling dinner that goes well with steamed rice or flatbreads.
Eid al-Adha, on the other hand, is a day when Muslims sacrifice an animal and distribute the meat to family, friends, and the impoverished. The meat is then utilized to make a variety of dishes that are served during the Eid feast.
Biriyani is a famous meal during Eid al-Adha. It’s a rice meal with meat, spices, and vegetables. Biriyani is a rich and savoury dish that is popular in the Maldives.
Another meal that is typically served during Eid al-Adha is Roshi. It is a flatbread made from flour, water, and salt. The bread is commonly served with spicy curries and chutneys and is fried on a hot griddle.
What games do people play on Eid celebrations in Maldives?
Both (Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul- Adha) eid celebrations in Maldives are celebrated with prayers, family gatherings and people of all ages participate in various games and activities, which are an integral part of the festive celebrations. Here are some popular games that are played during Eid celebrations in Maldives.
Tug of War:
Tug of War is a classic game that is played during Eid celebrations in Maldives. It involves two teams pulling on opposite ends of a rope, with the aim of pulling the other team across a line. Tug of War is a great way to promote teamwork and competition, and it is a fun activity that people of all ages can enjoy.
Coconut husking is a popular traditional game that is played during Eid celebrations in Maldives. It involves using a sharp tool to remove the husk from a coconut, and it is a challenging game that requires skill and dexterity. Coconut husking is a fun activity that people of all ages can enjoy, and it is a great way to promote traditional Maldivian culture.
The Bokuraa Race game is a traditional game that has been played during eid celebrations in Maldives for generations. It is a competitive sport that involves the use of small wooden boats, called Bokuraas. These boats are made from coconut wood and are about 30-40 centimeters long. The game is usually played in the shallow waters of the beach or lagoon, and the objective is to race the Bokuraas to the finish line.
Players have to use their hands to maneuver the Bokuraas through the water, and the one who reaches the finish line first wins the game. However, the game is not as simple as it sounds. The players have to be careful not to tip their boats over, as this can result in disqualification. They also have to be mindful of the wind and water currents, as these can affect the speed and direction of their boats.
The Bokuraa Race game is usually played during the afternoon of the second day of Eid celebrations in Maldives. The game is open to both men and women, and people of all ages participate in it.