Monday 29 September 2008

Celebrating Chand Raat

In the West days run from dawn to the following dawn, so for example we wake up to Eid morning and celebrate until the evening. However for a Muslim the day runs from the previous evening to the current sunset. So Eid begins not on the morning of the first day of Shawwal, but as the last day of Ramadan draws to a close.

In Pakistan (and presumably elsewhere) this is celebrated as Chaand Raat - The Night of the Moon. It is the most romantic night of the year for many – the bazaars full of young men buying their wives (or other significant others) bangles and the women decorating their hands with henna.

This being the case, I believe in starting the celebrations first chance I get. Most of us are too busy having started the cooking already, but there is one tradition I hold dear and never miss. We live near a very busy area full of Asian shops. So the night before Eid the shops are open until midnight and the main street is chaotic and joyful with shoppers, people just out to enjoy the mood and with girls charging to do your henna. I get my husband to take me along to buy the bangles to match my suit. It’s just a little thing, but it makes the night special for me. Little Lady and I also do our henna even if it’s midnight by the time my turn comes.

If you are a bit more ambitious, I liked the way one lady celebrated. She invited all of her friends over for a Chand Raat party and provided the henna and baskets full of bangles, one of her friends also brought over jewellery and clothes to sell.

This year I will try to think up some special rituals for my children, which will become part of their treasury of memories about Eid.



  1. That's a great idea... I dont have children yet (in shaa Allah) with my husband but I think I want to start some of my own Eid traditions as well... So far I havent enjoyed Eid much since coming to Egypt, and thats the only way I can think to make it a happier experience.

    Eid Mubarak!

  2. I do vaugely remember mum mentioning chand ratt or chandni ratt and romance but ours was not connected to EID , as i don't consider myself cultural mostly due to my own up bringing sadly. I do have recollections and you have reminded me of this one ! Thanks Muslim Mama have your self and your family a wonderful Eid !


  4. Assalam-alaikam Umm Travis,
    I'm sorry Eid has been less than great for you. I was down this morning because my parents are celebrating Eid tomorrow so this will be a quiet one, but as soon as I got busy I cheered up, I thought at least I can make my own world within my own happy as beautiful as I can insh'Allah. have a lovely Eid.

    Assalam-alaikam Sister Rainbow,
    I htink I know what you mean, there's lots of old Indian/Pakistani songs about Chaandni and love aren't there? I hope you and your lovely family have a beautiful Eid insh'Allah.

    Assalam-alaikam Sister Indyana,
    (P.S. How come I can't get to yur blog?)

  5. Eid Mubarak and I respectfully request a wrist full of your glass bangles ;).