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"CHAND RAAT MELA”- Food and Festivities to celebrate Eid

November 2006
"CHAND RAAT MELA”- Food and Festivities to celebrate Eid

ZafNet Media, an independent group organized its annual Chand Raat Mela / Festival on Sunday evening, October 22nd, 2006 at North Atlanta Trade Center in Norcross, Georgia. A record 2,000 people attended this event.

Muslims celebrate 'Eid-ul-Fitr' on the first day of Shawaal - the tenth month of the Islamic calendar, following the month of Ramadan (in which the revelation started and ended 20+ years later, and which is also the month of fasting). Following a Lunar calendar, Muslims mark the beginning of the month with the sighting of the new crescent. 'Eid' which means "festivity" in Arabic, is celebrated after the sighting of the new crescent on the previous evening. The air of festivity and celebration can be felt on the eve before Eid when frenzied shopping and Eid preparations are at its height. Since Eid is celebrated with gift-giving, the highly decorated shops and markets are open till late at night for last minute shoppers.

In India and Pakistan, the celebration the night before Eid is called Chand Raat, or night of the moon. Women, especially young girls often paint each others' hands with traditional mehndi (henna) and wear colorful bangles.

The festival included booths that offered henna/mehndi, food, clothing/garment,and jewelry. A specialty company had been hired, whose sole job was to entertain the children. They made a separate carnival style section for this purpose. For the older crowd, there were quiz shows, best dressed contest, and awards for best looking male, female and couples. The amateur singing contest winner won a DVD player. There was a special food court section built for this mela so patrons could sit down and enjoy their food.

Games and festivities were followed by live performances of famous songs from Pakistan and India by a band named "Generation". The Mela started at 7:00PM and lasted late into the night.���

Zafar Hassan, the organizer of the mela and the team of ZafNet Media thanked all who attended, as well as sponsors, vendors and supporters of the mela. For more information, please contact Zafar Hassan at 678-508-5050 or email at Violex@yahoo.com

~Tahir Saleem

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