Any festival is an expression to celebrate the culture, the tradition, and the glorious heritage the place carries with itself. The true meaning of any festival is to rejoice in special moments and emotions of our lives, with our loved ones, near and far alike
In the last five years, wherever I have stayed, whatever has been my journey, between exploring new geographies to trying out new cuisines, from getting astounded by the culture to being flabbergasted by the rich tradition & heritage wherever I went, I have realized what remains unchanged, was that the people remained same everywhere. They remained human wherever I went these years. And as I look forward to witnessing one of the most pious sacraments, the Holy Month of Ramadan in the beautiful land of Oman, once again very closely, and with one of the most beautiful people around, I have appreciated the beauty and the very importance of the month in a better way, each passing year.
Any festival is an expression to celebrate the culture, the tradition, and the glorious heritage the place carries with itself. The true meaning of any festival is to rejoice in special moments and emotions of our lives, with our loved ones, near and far alike. They help us immensely in connecting with our roots and origin once again and help us to preserve it. By way of celebrating together, we forget enmity and embrace each other. A natural bond of love is created, and environmental harmony ensues. The whole aura changes as the festival connects everyone and gives us an identity-identity of belongingness, an identity of oneness.
So, what is special about the ninth and the most sacred month of the Islamic Hijri calendar- the Holy month of Ramadan? Ramadan-the holy month of fasting, spiritual reflection, and prayers. It is essentially the time of the year when the followers of the faith all over the world renounce food, water and other desires and practice self-control, self-discipline, sacrifice, empathy, and compassion towards those who are less fortunate. The blessed month encourages acts of generosity and compulsory charity.
The dire situation of the pandemic calls us to bring more compassion, more empathy towards fellow human beings, towards the less fortunate, and come together to celebrate the true spirit of the festival irrespective of race and religion
Last two years, Ramadan has been different. Amidst the lethal pandemic outbreak, recent years witnessed the festival more earnestly. Large public gatherings were prohibited in the interest of the health of all, and the communal event of breaking the fast iftar was restricted to close family members. Tarawih (special night-time prayer) was also a very private affair. The schools were shut, and millions worked from home. Amidst all this, the decorations of the houses through the display of crescents & stars, Eid Mubarak lightings and ornamentation of the streets have always been in full fervor, showing the solidarity the festival bestows upon all. This is indeed a delight to watch across the curvaceous streets of Oman and the vivacity it carries with them. This year too, the Sultanate is shining bright, the ever-stunning Royal Opera House is unmissable and the view of Al Amin Mosque from my kitchen is breathtaking!
The dire situation of the pandemic calls us to bring more compassion, more empathy towards fellow human beings, towards the less fortunate, and come together to celebrate the true spirit of the festival irrespective of race and religion. Isn’t purifying our souls, contributing our bit towards the betterment of mankind and being kind to one another the greatest celebration?
Let us be more reflective; let us look within! Happy festivities to all!
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