Chand Raat is an important and most awaited occasion that approaches us after the holy month of Ramadan Kareem. Chand Raat has its own importance and significance in Pakistan and south Asia. In our country we celebrate Chand Raat as a separate event and celebration. It is not an overstatement that we get more excited on Chand Raat than we feel excited for Eid day. In short, Eid for us is incomplete without Chand Raat as any wedding in our country is incomplete without Dholki. We just can’t happen to skip this little celebration.
Chand Raat is a pre-celebration and pre-event of the main occasion of Eid-ul-Fitar. It is a time of real celebrations and extravagant excitement to welcome the great festival comes around. The preparations of Eid day are started after the moon of Shawal is sighting. Although, the preparations of Eid-ul-Fitar continues in whole month of Ramadan but on Chand Raat things get pretty crazy.
The day of Eid-ul-Fitar welcomes in entire Muslim community of the world with great zeal. But we Pakistanis have our own kind of twist in celebration this great festivity and especially the Chand Raat. Chaand Raat is a great source of thrill and a cheerful night for all of us, especially for youngsters and girls. There is a lots of excitement seems in seeking moon, praying and wishing each other. We Pakistanis have a special kind of enthusiasm and energy to celebrate and make the most of Chand Raat.
What is Chand Raat?
Chand Raat, as the word defines itself, The Night of the Moon. It is the sing that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan Kareem. Chaand Raat occurs on the evening before the Eid day and it is as well as a prelude to the celebrations of Eid-ul-Fitar. On the Chand Raat the new moon of Islamic month Shawal is being sighted and it marked the arrival of Eid-ul-Fitr. It is the night before Eid-ul-Fitar and one of the most exciting parts of its festivities.
As soon as the new moon of month Shawal is sighted, people start with the celebrations and preparations. That go on late into the night till the next morning. At the celebration of Chand Raat friends, relatives and neighborhood comes together to seek new moon, eat, shop and welcome the month of Shawal. The mosques, main buildings and markets are adorned with lights. Every single face cheers up as moon sighted.
Why is It Important?
The roots of Chand Raat can be traced to the most significant festival of Eid-ul-Fitar and it is also commonly known as Methi Eid. Since, it is very significant to sight the moon for different important occasion in the Islamic religion; Chand Raat becomes more meaningful to the Muslims. By sighting of the first lunar crescent, it marks the first day of the Islamic month of Shawal and arrival of Eid-ul-Fitar. It is totally depends on the sighting of new moon that Ramadan can be either of 29 days or 30 days.
The exact day of Eid-ul-Fitar is contended until the very last day of Ramadan, because it is solely depends upon the sighting of Shawwal’s first lunar crescent. The joy of unexpected sighting of the new moon at this Eid makes it full of excitement and a real cause for celebration. It is a reward from Allah (SWT) for one’s anticipation, prayers and patience during the holy month of Ramadan. That is why; Chand Raat has more significance and importance and it is widely recognized and also celebrated as a separate event at Eid-ul-Fitar than at Eid-ul-Adha.
Things We Do to Celebrate Chand Raat
It is almost time for Chand Raat celebrations and we just cannot wait to enjoy most of this time. We Pakistanis have our own way of celebrating the joy of Chand Raat. And here is how we do it There is a list of things we do on Chand Raat to celebrate the joy of this occasion. Now as we are having our Chand Raat of this year, let’s have a look at the things we do on Chand Raat.
On the evening of 29th or may be 30th of Ramadan the first thing after iftar is to locate the new moon of Shawal. All the friends, families, relatives and neighborhood come up on their terrace and balconies and spend the next hour to get a glance at new moon. Some family members sit in front of television, holding their breaths and waiting for Ruet-e-Hilal committee to gives its verdict. It is fun activity by itself but unfortunately sometimes we can’t see the moon from our roof tops. So the decision goes to Ruet-e-Hilal committee. Also checking the mobile phones if any kind of news comes up from anywhere and out loud discussing Hilal committee’s performance with friends. Typically a Pakistani thing, isn’t it?
Chand Raat Whishes
Whishing Eid to someone is a story for another day. But after the moon has been sighted and decision made by Ruet-e-Hilal committee that tomorrow will be the big day of Eid. Everyone starts sending Chand Raat wishes to each other. People start wishing Chand Raat Mubarat as it means ‘has a blessed night of the new moon’ by sending tones of texts and making a lot of calls to relatives and friends. As we live in the era of technology, people also upload thousands of statuses about Chand Raat Mubarak on their social media stories.
It is the time when the most insignificant person in entire house such as the youngest siblings even has non-stop phone buzzing. It is kind a ritual to send Chaand Raat Mubarak text to each and every single soul in a person’s life. CEO to gatekeeper no one should remain deprive of this contagious vibe of Chand Raat Mubarak. Moreover, people make extra effort to wish differently on every Chand Raat by using funky font styles, cheesy liners, and creative gifs.
The very first thing that we do on chand raat after sighting the moon is to rise the people who sat on the I’tikaf. That also known as I’tikaf Kushai. Muslims sit on i’tikaf from 20th of Ramadan till the Chand Raat that may be on 29th or 30th of Ramadan. Males are offered these prayers in the Mosques and women at home. Friends and family rise the person from i’tikaf right after the announcement of Eid. Give them gifts and eidi and celebrate Chand Raat with them.
Last Minute Shopping
Although preparations for Eid starts from the very beginning of the holy month of Ramadan. But going on shopping at Chand Raat has its own charm. So many people put off buying a few things for Chand Raat such as bangles, shoes and even their Eid clothes. Some people just go to shopping and markets for just enjoying the heck of it. Some people go for shopping to hang out somewhere with friends, having some of their favorite food and watching the festivities.
Going outside for shopping on Chand Raat and become the part of outside crowd is also a part of celebrating this night. People spends hours and hours in malls, buying clothes, shoes, jewelry, bangles, gifts, and other things for friends and family to celebrate the occasion. The enthusiasm and excitement is quite noticeable on faces of boys and girls in malls. Even shopkeepers make special arrangements for Chand Raat.
Mehndi and Choriyan
Mehndi and Choriyan are also mandatory items for last minute girl’s shopping. Girls Chand Raat never completes withouth mehndi and choriyan. They spend hours waiting in the line outside of henna stalls to adore their hands with color of it. No, no matter how long it takes they would not quit because mehndi is just too important for them. Girls spend extra time to shop bangles, matching exactly with their clothes. Some girls also applying mehndi on each other hands at home and up late at night gossiping, laughing and enjoying.
Hitting the Lights
A Chand Raat is completely incomplete without hitting the bazars and markets to see the whole city adorned with lights. All the main buildings, public buildings, streets, markets and malls decorate with lights that make people more excited.
Getting Mehndi designs on hands; going on last minute shopping, giving your dupatta for Pico; buying envelopes for giving Eidi; buying choriyan and shoes; picking up clothes from the tailor and most importantly going for a last minute spa services. All this hustle and bustle for completing all tasks and tension to do not forget anything keeps you on your toes on Chand Raat. However, the most amazing part is you actually like the whole episode of Chand Raat. Because it makes you feel that something good is coming on your way. After a whole month of prayers and fasting. It is really hard to explain the feeling you get on Chand Raat, it is happy and warm at the same time.
Chand Raat Mubarak!
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