In 2020, Muslims around the world celebrated their annual Eid-ul-Fitr festival in an uncommon way due to the Covid-19 pandemic. In contrast to the normal communal festive celebrations with many friends and family, Eid was mostly celebrated at home or alone. In order to keep that communal spirit alive, many people resorted to Zoom meetings with family and friends or attended virtual events.
Many families continued to celebrate their Eid with passed down family traditions, whilst others had to come up with new ways to supplement traditions that were no longer possible due to the lockdown. Having Eid during a lockdown meant many individuals had to performing the Eid Salaah (prayer) and Takbeer’s (invocations) at home.
Trying to capture the experiences of this day had additional challenges as lockdown meant that filmmakers could not travel to people’s houses to film. This documentary is a collective effort as all the content is user generated, filmed by the diverse participants in their homes. A group of creatives shared their “call out” for individuals and families to record and share their Eid celebrations via social media. After receiving many videos, a group of filmmakers and researchers collected and pieced these narratives together to create a short film capturing this unique day.
Like most things, this “new” Eid had its own silver lining. This day was an extension of the month of Ramadan. Eid became another day dedicated to our spiritual practices, sacrifice, reflection and mindfulness. And although most of us worked really hard to maintain and focus on those practices during Ramadan, the excitement and rush of Eid usually dominates the day and those practices become difficult to maintain. However, this Eid made it easier for individuals to continue with their practices since there weren’t many distractions.
Eid during lockdown was another reminder to us all that as much as our Deen (religion) is a very social one, the lack of socialization did not implicate the practice of our Deen since most practices, if not all, were just as acceptable when done privately or with our families in our homes. In fact, we were able to receive different spiritual gifts and benefits from our personal time dedicated to these religious rituals and practices.
Enjoy this short film and please share it with all your loved ones!