So Ramadan is over and it is Eid. Eid is what they call all of their holidays/celebrations. Eid can begin on either the 30th or 31st of August. It depends on when Saudi sees the moon and declares Eid. They saw it the night of the 29th and our street promtly exploded into celebration. Firecrackers, kids running through the streets screaming and singing, the mosques singing late into the night and starting again very, very early on the morning of the 30th. (Did I mention that we live in the center of 3 mosques?)
The first day of Eid is for visiting friends. So, we shouldn’t have been surprised when our neighbor came by in the morning to wish us “Eid Mubarak” (Eid blessings) and give us candy, as is customary to do. What we were most surprised with was that she didn’t knock, just opened the door. This would have been fine except that it was early and we were both still on our pajamas! I didn’t even have my contacts in yet so I was sort of squinting at her. It didn’t put her off too much though becuase she still invited us over for fatuur (breakfast).
So a few hours later (they eat breakfast usually about 10-11), we got out of our pj’s and went over for fatuur. I don’t know these neighbors all that well. I had met a few of them before. There was a definite difference eating fatuur with them and eating it with the family of my language helper a few nights before. I guess because Sana’s family knows me pretty well since I have been at their house 2x/week since February, and they understand my Arabicish better. It was still lovely though. A few times I got, “So, you don’t speak any Arabic?” And I had to explain that I do speak a little, but it’s hard to understand when 10 people around you are all talking and that I still don’t think that fast in Arabic. Oh well!
It felt like a holiday. Everyone, even the kids, had on brand spanking new clothes and shoes. The ladies all had fresh henna done. Breakfast was more extravagant than it usually is. Meaning–a great deal of meat. Which…I rarely ever eat meat. So I tried to subtly dance around the meat and my roommate later said that I did a good job. I was offered some of the delicacy of raw sheep’s liver, stomach…and something else. I politely declined. I will try it eventually…I dunno, I just didn’t feel like doing it at that moment with my first visit with some new neighbors. One day I will. Pictures will surely follow.
I am happy for Ramadan to be over. I can eat and drink in public again. People will surely be less grumpy. Hopefully I’ll see fewer fights on the bus and less car accidents.