Eid Celebrations in Nigeria

I was doing my usuals online when I came about this site talking about eid celebrations from around the world. I checked it out and  not only was Nigeria out of the list, no African nation was mentioned. EH eh, that is not the racist me oo.. Its just the me that is passionate about what is mine. And how would they even have it when we have not taken the time to put it into writing..I always say if we don’t write our view of our own stories, who would??

SO came the inspiration to write this. A Yoruba proverb says ‘there is no particular way to the market’. There is no standard way to this celebration. And as Nigeria is highly multicultural, the manner of celebration differs among ethnic groups. From the Yorubas of the southwest, to the igbos in the south east to the majorly Muslim north, Eid is one special event!

Am a Yoruba girl( a typical one at that..lol) so I’d be writing on how we do our thing at my side. And you know what, I got MJ, my hausa friend to write the hausa way of doing it..Now am going to be needing friends from other parts of Nigeria. When they do write, we’ll get this post updated InshaAllah. Eventually, we’ll all learn of the other cultures in our dear country and people from other places might learn too.

Preparation

The preparation for eid starts from a week before it usually. The most important things at this time are the clothes to wear. Yorubas are well known for what is called Aso ebi, also known as and-co. The family shops for a common material to be worn by all its members. Some have a particular one for the boys and another for the girls. These are given to tailors/fashion designers(we have got many of them oo) and trust my Nigerian folks to want the latest trends in fashion for their eid celebrations! Shoes, bags, goggles(for children) and other accessories are gotten to match the clothing. Every child loves this part of it- they go hiding their clothes so no one sees them until the D-day. I can remember always going to peep at mine as a child..I still do this sometimes 🙂

Then comes the food. It is Usually rice, amala and pounded yam. Amala is the real deal for adults and children would always go for rice.

By this time, eid is very close and the next thing is to keep the house clean. washing, fixings and all. If you have a generator, that’s when the petrol is bought too- no one wants a blackout on eid day!

Finally, there’s the need to cut those nails, plait that hair(for girls) and visit the barber’s shop(boys).

If its eidl adha, the ram must have been scaring the children and making the whole neighborhood know of its presence.

The D-day

wow! dressed up, everyone goes for the eid prayers. The Eid ground is always a spectacular site with a blend of colours from the beautiful outfits. Some eid grounds have large tall trees or beautiful gardening which further give them serene looks.

Of great importance is d ‘barka de sallah’ hat worn by children. These are sold at the eid grounds and parents rush to get for their children for every child sees them as  part of the celebration.

Ice cream is one of the main things sold at the grounds. This you don’t usually get until the eid day. yoghourts and all forms of snacks  are just part of the eid. Earlier, before getting for the prayers, it is common practice for the elderly to give eid gift(usually money) to the young. Also the husband gives his wife. Child to  the mother and so on. This is usually given in new notes- we wld keep some until long after eid cos they were just too new to be spent.. :). These monies provide for the ice creams and snacks of the day.

Every one goes back home where the mothers do the cooking. Home usually means the extended family home. Family members from far and near meet here, have fun, discuss their various lives. Cousins get to meet and so much re-unions happen.

It is common practice to take food to the neighbours whom are usually Christians. For eidl adha, meat from the killed ram is also given to them.

There is so much merry making, singing and dancing.

By evening, it is time to visit others and to be visited. Non muslims usually come to take part in the feasts at this time.

Day after eid
This is when the outdoor part of the celebration is done. many people go visiting relatives. Others go to parks, and eateries (mr.Biggs and co) have a boost.

Eid in Islam is for three days but the official holiday is Usually for two  and that doesn’t leave room for more celebrations.

Epilogue

Anytime we witness eid, let us thank Allah for the previous year, plan for the coming one, make corrections for our mistakes and make resolutions on them.
May we live long to witness more of this. Eid Sa’eeeeeeeeeeed!

Now, part two is on how Hausas do it..I tell you, you don’t wanna miss that..

You think there is Something missing in this write-up? leave a comment!

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2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Amina Jaafar
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 15:18:55

    Wow! Dat was very interesting! U won’t blv me if I tell u am jst hearing somethings about how yorubas celebrate Eid! And am a Nigerian o!lol
    Queen Ameerah, am comin 4 my barka da sallah!lol

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