The morning of Eid-ul-Fitr is no regular morning in Kolkata. Be it the wealthy, the poor, the old, the young or the disabled, the morning of Eid -ul-Fitr sees a sea of kurta-clad men, boys and children moving towards Red Road near Maidan to assemble and pray the Eid-ul-Fitr namaz together.
Before we begin
After a month-long duration of observing a fast every day during Ramadan, Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated as the ‘Feast of the breaking of the fast’ by muslims across the globe. Based on the lunar calendar and the sighting of the new moon, the day of Eid-ul-Fitr is decided and after a special prayer in the morning, Eid-ul-Fitr begins.
On the morning of Eid-ul-Fitr, Red Road, Mayo Road and a large portion of Maidan is witness to over 5 lakh Muslims of Kolkata, coming together to pray the namaaz of Eid-ul-Fitr. This namaaz is presided generally by the senior-most Imam Saab.
A huge effort is made every year by Kolkata Police to maintain law and order and ensure a smooth flow of the ceremony of the Eid-ul-Fitr namaaz. “The charm of the Eid prayer on Red Road is the feeling of praying among lakhs of other people. We all feel at home here.” said Golam Naqvi, a young father who’s been coming to Red Road to pray the Eid namaaz from childhood with his father.
Faiz Rahman a first timer to Red Road said, “I’m new to the city and although I had an idea that there would be a lot of people here, I’m blown out of my mind seeing the crowd here. I guess I’ve never seen so many people pray together ever”
Boys and children dressed in their best attires, the old with enthusiasm on their faces and grown men, all looking simply ‘happy’. Such is the sight at Red Road on the morning of Eid. Once the prayer is complete, comes the customary three hugs followed a handshake with ‘Eid Mubarak’!
Would write more but today is Eid and friends and biryani are waiting!
Photographer: Tuhin Roy