Celebrating Eid al-Adha in The Maldives
This month, we had the pleasure of celebrating the joyous occasion of Eid al Adha!
Eid al-Adha is an Islamic festival celebrated on the day after the Hajj pilgrimage. Its significance is derived from the importance associated with Hajj, an annual Islamic pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca which is among the five pillars of Islam.
Muslims around the world celebrate this festival joyfully, as it is a public holiday stretching over a few days. Eid al-Adha is not to be confused with Eid al-Fitr (which is celebrated after the holy month of Ramadan)!
How did we celebrate Eid al-Adha?
Although local islands are typically where you would experience the true Eid celebrations with the local community, Resorts also honour this festivity by bringing local traditions alive for their guests.
We went to Fushifaru this year and witnessed an amazing programme with a Coconut Show, Traditional Dinner Buffet, Boduberu Show, Bodumas Beynun and Eid Games with traditional Maldivian Tea!
Interestingly, Eid al-Adha is called “Bodu Eid” (big Eid) due to the Bodu Mas (Big Fish) tradition observed in many parts of the Maldives, mostly within the local islands. Family and friends usually travel together to celebrate Eid.
The day of Eid al-Adha begins with an early morning Eid prayer, a congregational event with the mosque flooding with worshippers, after which festivities will follow!
Traditional Eid al-Adha festivities
Bodumas Beynun "Whale Fishing"
The Bodumas (Big Fish or Whale) is woven out of coconut palm leaves and is the most exciting and anticipated celebration of the day.
The event is called bodumas beynun which translates to ‘whale fishing’. It shows fishermen struggling to catch a big fish which is surrounded by "Maali" (ghosts from the sea). After several tries, fishermen succeed to catch the big fish with the help of "Kivevelibe" (holy man).
This fish is made the night before Eid. Islanders gather to watch this show which takes place on the day of Eid, it is one of the most exciting events during Bodu Eid celebrations.
Boduberu "Big Drums"
Take a seat and be amazed by cultural performances such as Shadow Dancing, Dhandi Jehun, Bandiyaa, Jehun and Boduberu... The cultural events, music and dance make Eid a memorable occasion.
On local islands, music and dance fill up the streets and houses with joy and happiness. Bodu beru is the most widely performed form of music and dance in The Maldives. It consists of men and women in traditional wear, singing and dancing to songs which vary in mood and rhythm. Most of them begin slowly and increase in tempo, with a couple of men starting to dance as the performance progresses.
The art of Bodu beru dancing is unique as the dancers fling their arms and legs and sway to the beat in a fun way. Some of the other forms of dance and music include Bandiyaa jehun, a dance typically carried out by women using pots, and Dhandi jehun, a dance carried out using sticks. Thaara, which uses tambourines and is performed by 22 people seated in two parallel rows facing each other, is also a popular cultural dance.
A Maldivian Feast
Traditionally, on local islands, each household will prepare an abundance of tasty local food, inviting family, friends and neighbours for breakfast and lunch. Some of these feasts are completed by a “Malaafaiy”.
Malaafaiy is the name given to large, wooden serving dishes, with the exterior and lid adorned with beautiful traditional lacquer work. The dishes are typically filled with rice and bowls of curry, as well as other side dishes, salads and bananas, covered by the lid. The Malaafaiy is wrapped in a cloth tied at the top. Enjoy this sumptuous feast of local flavours!
Resorts, such as Fushifaru, will also have "Malafaaiy" and traditional Maldivian food served for guests.
Photos by Twosome Travellers at Fushifaru Maldives
We ended our Eid celebrations with Eid Games on the beach - with Tug of War, a traditional Bashi Match and delicious Maldivian Tea served as the sun sets!
We had so much fun celebrating Bodu Eid at Fushifaru Maldives. While customs and traditions have changed overtime, Bodu Eid remains a testament to the strong community bonds in The Maldives. It is definitely a chance to get together and enjoy vibrant festivities, filled with excitement, laughter and glee!