Eid al-Fitr, one of the biggest Muslim religious holidays, throughout Bosnia and Herzegovina and the world, is greeted in a family and is celebrated today.
In the tradition of Muslims from BiH, this holiday has a very special place. From the early morning hours, male members of the family go to pray Fajr, and then they pray Eid prayer, come home, congratulate each other and perform Eid duties.
When male family members go to the Eid prayer, the tradition is to go to the mosque by one and return the other way. During Eid prayer, tekbirs are heard in the mosque.
A long time ago, there was also a widespread practice of sewing a new suit that was eagerly waited for months.
The most common Eid lunch in BiH begins with soup, which is followed by a stew, sarma (cabbage stuffed with meat), Bosnian pot (vegetable broth) and similar dishes. Then comes the pie, grilled meat with vegetables etc. Eid specialities are: Bey’s soup, hadzijski kebab, dolma and different types of cabbage rolls. Various types of pies are unavoidable on the table. Deserts are also a very important element of Eid table. Most often desserts are: baqlava (traditional Bosnian dessert made of dough filled with walnuts), ruzica (Bosnian traditional dessert with sugar coating), tufahije (sweet apple filled with walnuts) and halva (traditional Bosnian sweet made of flour and sugar).
This holiday represents a special joy for children. Bajram banka or bajramluk (gift for children in money) is something long awaited and joyful.
It is a tradition that children visit elderly relatives and neighbors and get gifts with money, chocolate or candy. ‘Secerke’ used to be very popular. Children congratulate Eid by kissing their parents in their right hand, and the parents would kiss their children on the forehead and say a prayer for them. This custom is preserved to this day in BiH.
The first day of Eid is spent with the family that gathers at the house of the oldest member. On the second day, Muslims visit the cemetery. The second day of Eid is also known as the Day of the Martyrs, and the third day is reserved for gathering with friends and acquaintances.
In some parts of BiH, there was also a so called Female Eid. After the tree days of Eid when the celebration would end, the Female Eid would start as an unofficial forth day. Women who were welcoming guests in the previous three days, would find time for themselves.
Eid is also a day of reconciliation and forgiveness. It is the day when all fights are forgotten.