The celebration at the end of Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr, is a time to wish your nearest and dearest ‘Eid Mubarak’ and exchange gifts that can brighten their day and bring a smile to their faces.
Traditionally, the main gift given on Eid is ‘Ediyah’ or money usually given by family elders to children, sometimes in brightly coloured envelopes. No matter how old, rich or successful you are, receiving 'Ediyah' from your elders is a prized tradition.
Wearing new clothes plays a big part of the Eid celebrations, so it is also customary for grandparents to buy new clothes for their grandchildren to wear on Eid day.
These days Eid gifts have evolved into more substantial and meaningful presents exchanged between family members and friends, with more and more people looking for tailor-made gift items. The most common Eid gifts include the Quran, religious books and CDs accompanied with a basket of Eid goodies filled with dried fruits like figs, apricots, dates or chocolates, or a selection of nuts such as almonds, pistachios and walnuts.
For a typical Middle Eastern gift basket, you can add a jar of green or black olives, a cake decorated with the words Eid Mubarak, a box of date-filled cookies, Turkish delights or the famous cardamon-infused halawas from Oman. Gift baskets can also be sent with flower arrangements and a card. Recipients appreciate these delicacies as they can share them with guests at Eid Al Fitr.
Many corporate companies send dates, chocolates or dried fruits with their logos to potential or existing clients for Eid.
One popular gift is artistically engraved or printed Quranic texts that can be framed and hung on walls. In most souks in the Middle East, calligraphy of verses embroidered on dark velvet with gold or silver threads is a popular choice.Another gift idea with a traditional twist is ‘bukhoor’ or incense sticks. These can be found packaged in a variety of boxes in most markets in the Middle East. For men, ‘attar’ or masculine fragrance can be given and worn for Eid prayers and on visits to family and friends.
For women, there is always a huge selection of scarves, chocolates, perfumes or jewellery. In many Arab countries, giving jewellery with the recipient's name engraved in Arabic calligraphy, or a word or symbol that has a religious significance, is very common - the crescent moon being one of the most popular symbols.
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