Muharram, Id-Ul-Zuha, Shab-I-Barat, Id-Ul-Fitr or Ramzam Id, Milad-Un-Nabi, Barawafat, Giaravahin Sharif, Hazrat Ali’s Birthday, Shabbe Mirag, and Barabanki Mela are the major Muslim Festivalscelebrated with great pomp and enthusiasm in various parts of the world. All these festivals are celebrated in strict adherence to the Islamic calendar. The important among these like Id-Ul-Fitr or Ramzan Id, Muharram, and Id-Ul-Zuha are observed in India by holidays in government organization and educational institutions. Muslims fast and pray and undergo the religious rituals with utter devotion. The mosques all over the world see millions of Muslims gathering peacefully to offer their prayers. These festivals are so popular that even the people of other communities join in the celebrations. Muslim festivals are based on Islamic Hijra calendar, which is also called the lunar calendar. Thus most of the festivals start with the sighting of the moon.
Muharram celebrates the martyrdom of Hazrat Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad. Tazia, which are nothing but an imitation of Matyrs tombs, are carried in huge processions through the streets. In India, Lucknow and Hyderabad is especially famous for splendid tazias. Devotees in millions all across the globe perform the very the very painful ritual of inflicting wound upon their selves and beating their chest while mourning the death. They also continuously chant “ya Hussein” while in procession.
Id-Ul-Fitr or Ramzan Id is the festival of the long month of rigorous fast when the new moon is sighted at the end of the month. It is chiefly a festival of feasting, enjoying and family get-togethers. Varied delicacies are prepared and distributed among family members and neighbours. People wear new clothes and go to the mosques to pray. They also exchange wishes and greetings with all family members, friends and relations. Ramadan does have a definite date of celebration but as per the Islamic calendar it is the last month of the Islamic year.
Id-Ul-Zuha is also known as Bakra Id or Bakri Id because the Muslims have the tradition of sacrificing a goat or bakra on this day. The word ‘Zuha’ in Arabic means ‘sacrifice.’ People can be seen dressed in best clothes, gathering in mosques offering prayers, preparing and enjoying delicacies with friends and family members. Since sacrifice forms the most important part of ritual of this festival, rich families are expected to sacrifice one animal per family and then distribute 2/3 of the sacrificial meat among the poor. Very poor families contribute jointly and 70 families together sacrifice one animal. Any animal that is free from disease is considered the best for offering.