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The Chand Raat Festivities: An occasion to welcome Eid

The holy month of Ramadan is observed with great respect and honor in our country. As soon as the Ramadan starts special arrangements for sehr and iftar are made. Milad, Quran Khuani and many charitable activities are performed in this month by the people to gain blessing of the Almighty. As this month comes to an end preparations for Eid-Ul-Fitr starts in full swing. The last night before Eid in this regard is considered one of the biggest night to celebrate the completion of this Holy month and Eid, though these celeberations are not a part of religion but a famous ritual by the Muslims of South Asia naming the night as Chand Raat.

Chand Raat is a very special occasion after fasting in the holy month of Ramadan and sighting the Chand (Moon) for Eid-ul-Fitr families go out on streets for shopping and dining late night. Staying at home on Chand Raat is considered a taboo. As soon as the Ruat-E-Hilal committee makes announcement of EId after moon sighting people all over country rush towards Bazaars and malls. Even if the shopping for Eid is done weeks ago going out on Chand Raat for window shopping is a must.

People all over country go to the famous bazaars of their city with their families to practice the rituals of Chand Raat. Karachi, the biggest metropolitan of the country has numerous bazaars and malls where families are seen on this night. Tariq road, Uzma Market, Gulf are Saddar some of the famous bazaars for this festivity. Mehndi stalls outside these markets are the most crowded place where dozens of ladies are seen busy applying mehndi on their hands. A mehndi is a must for the ladies on Chand Raat whereas; the males of the family can be seen outside these stalls waiting for their family to get done their mehndi.  The gulf market in Karachi is famous for its mehndi stalls where families from all over the city come for the mehndi. Other ideal shopping places in the city are these new trendy shopping malls especially in defense and Clifton where although the appropriate ambiance and feel of Chand Raat cannot be observed but the crowded mall do showcases that something is happening. Teenagers with their friends also get a chance on this night to hangout late with their friends as usually parents allow their young kids to have their fun time on this night. The food streets and restaurants are the main point for all these youngsters to “Chill” with their friends. Boat basin, Burns Road and the series of restaurants and devils point are the famous dining points for this. Despite the general unstable law and order situation of the city, the citizens of metropolitan never miss the chance to celebrate this festivity with their friends and family.

Chaan Raat is not just limited to Karachi, how can our ‘Zinda dil’ Lahoris back out on this occasion. Fortress stadium, Liberty market and Anarkali are some of the main bazaars where Lahoris can be seen dining and shopping till late night.

Speaking of our capital city Islamabad though people go to Blue area’s trendy malls but the Rajaa Bazaar is quite famous in Islamabad and Rawalpindi for shopping where the local residents can be seen busy in shopping.

Even in Muree tourists from all over the country are seen on Chand Raat at its famous mall road celebrating the festivities. We Pakistani never let go such occasions doesn’t matter which area it is. In the cold weather of Muree between the hills the Eid and specially the Chand Raat festivities are celebrated with full enthusiasm and zeal.

How can we forget our Pushtoon brothers and sisters on this occasion?

Saddar, Qissa Khawani Bazaar  and the biggest shopping mall of the city Deans Trader Center are the famous places where people go out for shopping. The Peshawari Chappal is famous worldwide and a must to buy by our pushtoon brothers on Eid. No matter which city of which province mehndi, Bangles (churian) and a family dinner is a common thing to do on this occasion.

In Quetta Liaquat Bazaar, Suraj Gang Bazaar, Kandahari Bazaar and Jinnah Road are the famous bazaars for Eid shopping and Chand Raat festivities.

Pakistan is already a victim of terrorism for the past few year apart from that this nation is already going through an economic crisis too. Despite all these tensions people of this country know how to be happy and celebrate such religious occasions and rituals.

After a month of fasting, prayers and strict routine Chand Raat welcomes the Muslims in our country with happiness back to their normal routine. Not just in our country the celebrations of this Chand Raat ritual originated in this South Asian region is now worldwide famous and also celebrated in different parts of the world by Muslim societies.

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