End of Ramadan

The International Herald Tribune posted this article about new end-of-Ramadan traditions: http://www.iht.com/articles/2007/10/12/europe/lebanon.php?WT.mc_id=rssfrontpage
It starts out like this…

BEIRUT: In the dark hour before dawn, Soraya Naame joined the throng of Muslims visiting the Martyrs Cemetery, clutching bundles of myrtle branches and palm fronds as long as she was tall.

Naame, 44, was marking the first day of Eid al-Fitr, one of the biggest celebrations of the Muslim calendar, signaling the end of the month of Ramadan.

Modernity has swept over and changed some of the holiday’s rituals – including the arrival of a last-minute shopping rush – but it has not altered the holiday’s core, on display at sunrise in this necropolis.

“The dead are expecting their families at this hour,” said Naame, seated with two sisters on the edge of the grave next to her father’s burial place. The three women were smoking, reading from the Koran and talking with one another, settled in as if in their own living room for an hour’s visit.

They had already fashioned an arch out of braided palm fronds over the grave, and had planted bunches of myrtle branches in the grave itself.

“It eases the suffering of the dead,” Naame said, citing a tradition of decorating graves with fauna that dates to the time of the Prophet Muhammad.

Decorating graves with fauna! Hahahaha. Too funny. I am embarrassed for both the writer and the editor or proofreader who should have caught that. Now I have to draw a picture of a grave decorated with fauna.

grave fauna

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Filed under animals, Islamic relations

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