Eid ul-Fitr celebrated in the Maldives

The Maldives celebrated Eid ul-Fitr this week with prayer by day and parties by night. After a month of fasting for Ramadan, residents appear to be enjoying the capital island’s festive, social atmosphere.

The Islamic Ministry announced that Tuesday, August 30 wasĀ Eid ul-Fitr this year, and Male’ residents woke early on Tuesday morning to the sounds of heavy metal playing near the tsunami memorial. By late morning, the music had stopped and people were moving among houses and shops and a relaxed holiday atmosphere settled over the usually bustling city.

As ordered by the government, all private vehicles were parked and quiet between 3:30pm and 10:30pm. The traffic ordinance made it possible for residents to walk comfortably in the streets on a day when most of Male’ comes out for a stroll or to see the festivities.

The Islamic Ministry extended prayer space from the Islamic Center to Jetty 1 on Male’s northern side. Women could pray in extended space between the Dhiraagu head office to the Friday Mosque Minaret. Men were allowed to occupy all other areas.

Many Male residents traveled to home islands for Eid this year. But those who stayed enjoyed a range of sports, music and cultural activities.

Lagoons Sports Club organised “Maali Neshun” and “Bodumas Beynun”, Maldivian sporting events, on Boduthakurufaanu Magu and Ameenee Magu on Tuesday afternoon.

In “Maali Neshun”, masked participants dressed in ash and palm leaves walked Male’s roads and frightened parade onlookers in jest.

Two fishermen in “Bodumas Beynun” used magic, or fanditha, to catch a large woven fish.

In the evening, Male’s youth and married couples were to be found in hoards at the live music show in the Raalhugandu area, which was sponsored by local telecommunications company Dhiraagu.

Local bands such as 1knightstand, Harubee, and MNDF Cops Band took the stage alongside solo artists like Unoosha and Easa. The concert, which featured a range of musical tastes from soft rock to metal, rap and ska, began around 10 pm and continued past 2 in the morning.

Just around the corner near Bodufungandu Magu, palm tree road blocks protected a street rave featuring drums and traditional dancers. Young people and families were seen, and heard, celebrating into the late hours of the night.

The five-day period of Eid continues through Sunday. Although business is expected to return to its normal, pre-Ramadan state on Monday, Maldivians are looking forward to a second, longer Eid celebration before the end of the year.

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8 thoughts on “Eid ul-Fitr celebrated in the Maldives”

  1. I just want to make it clear to non muslim readers, that maali neshun is not something related to islam. on the contrary its some thing that was done at stage in maldives, and now being revived (which is stupid) and sometimes done on religious holidays (when islam call for decency). These mali neshun is like activing wild animals.. strange why some "ignorant" maldivians do it. i am also maldivian, and i dont want such things to be done in this coutnry. its not somehting that has any good impact to anyone, and a really bad example to show to children. Eid is supposted to be celebrated with decency, its a time to meet relatives, neighbours, friends, and increase brotherhood.

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  2. the article also mentioned about a play which showed magic and fandithat. magic and fanditha is completely forbidden in islam. so why play such acts in relation to Eid. That is why i call some Maldivians ignorant and in my previous message.

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  3. @ Brother Mohamed,

    You should ring up the Islamic Foundation and ask them why they are doing Fanditha courses then, sweet heart.

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  4. Maldives people dono anything abt Islam they just behave like junglees.bi d way during eid they should concentrate on prayer rather than cultural events

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  5. Maali neshun or other forms of dance and show are parts of our culture. It's true that they have little to do with Islam. But that doesn't mean, we should just bury these things. We cannot bury our past and our culture. I just can't understand the stupidity of people calling for us to stop these and other arts from our past.

    If you would like to "increase brotherhood", do so at your own free will. Don't impose your self righteous belief in curtailing our culture.

    I have also to say with dismay that Ramadhan and it's associated Eid is far removed from it's true Islamic character these days. Ramadhan is reduced to a month of consumerism, over consumption and a general decent into excess! This is in complete contrast to what it should be. We are supposed to reduce consumption, focus on God and His message. If we actually followed the religious purpose of this month, there would be no reason for the massive rise in consumption and inflation that is now synonymous with Ramadan.

    I don't hear any religious scholar or NGO pointing out this total conflict of how we engage with Ramadan.

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