I received an interesting complaint a few nights ago, about the scheduling of a Bayyinah class coming up. The class is intensive, at 3 hours a night for 10 nights, and it starts the day right after Eid. And that's where the complaint came in. I'm not really sure who was in charge of scheduling the class, but I doubt there was much flexibility in the first place. And it didn't bother me at all, since I figured I would have the day of Eid to celebrate plenty--and for me "celebrate" only means visiting with some friends. Since this Eid falls during my exam week, I don't think there will be much celebrating I can do.
But what I didn't realize is that some people celebrate this Eid for several days. To them it's not a 1-day holiday as it has been to me, but a multi-day event with parties and gatherings and gift-giving. So important is the celebration that some people could consider even a class on the Qur'an obtrusive and unwelcome on their holiday. I can't think of much I would rather do with my time, personally, which is why I found the complaint interesting.
But it got me wondering--why is Eid celebrated for so long? I don't mean to criticize at all, I just don't understand it. Someone has argued to me that Muslim children must put up with the obvious celebrations of other holidays (like Christmas and Easter I guess) and so we as adults owe it to them to make the Eid days extra-special. For me, I would consider getting out of school, getting presents, getting to eat lots of sweets and hang out with friends to be pretty cool--but I didn't know that Eid was supposed to be competing with Christmas.
Does anyone know why Eid is so many days... ? Or why people are so insistent on celebrating for so many days?