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Dear Sir/ Madam:

Greetings from Cuyo Island Palawan!

We, the current PSU – Cuyo Graduate Class 2012 – 2013 have come up with various resolutions and advocates relating to good Public Governance. One is to conduct a “Medical Mission” for a target people this December 19, 2012 (tentative date) or by January 2013.

Regarding this, we are appealing to your foundation, offices and organization. Can you help us on these, as we target about 200 general check ups not to include circumcision, eye consultation and dental services.

We need a Medicine Donation for the mission.

Thank you, God bless and more power.

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Happy Eid’l Fitr

“Hari Raya” redirects here. For the sacrifice festival which is also known as “Hari Raya” in several countries, see Eid al-Adha.

Eid-ul-Fitr, “Eid-ul-fitr”, Eid al-Fitr, Id-ul-Fitr, or Id al-Fitr (Arabic: ‎عيد الفطر ‘Īdu l-Fiṭr), often abbreviated to Eid, is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). The religious Eid is a single day (a Muslim is not permitted to fast that day), but it is usually celebrated for 3 days. Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity”, while Fiṭr means “breaking the fast”. The holiday celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan. The first day of Eid, therefore, falls on the first day of the month Shawwal. This is a day where Muslims around the world try to show a common goal of unity.

Eid al-Fitr has a particular salat (Islamic prayer) consisting of two raka’ah (units) and generally offered in an open field or large hall. It may only be performed in congregation (Jama’at) and has an additional extra six Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying “Allahu Akbar” [God is Great]), three of them in the beginning of the first raka’ah and three of them just before ruku’ in the second raka’ah in the Hanafi school. This Eid al-Fitr salat is, depending on which juristic opinion is followed, Fard (obligatory), Mustahabb (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory) or mandoob (preferable).

Muslims believe that they are commanded by God, as mentioned in the Qur’an, to continue their fast until the last day of Ramadan and pay the Zakat and fitra before doing the Eid prayer.

Eid ul-Fitr goes by various names around the world, including:

Idul Fitri, Hari Lebaran (Indonesia); Hari Raya Puasa, Hari Lebaran, Aidilfitri (Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei); Wakas ng Ramadan, Hari Raya Puasa (Philippines); Nonbu Perunaal (Tamil) Riyoyo, Riyayan, Rozar Eid (Bengali), Ngaidul Fitri (Javanese); Boboran Siyam (Sundanese); Uroë Raya Puasa (Acehnese); Rojar Eid (Bangladesh); Ramazan Bayramı, Şeker Bayramı, Küçük Bayram (Turkish); Ураза байрам, Uraza bayram (Tatar); Orozo Mayram (Kyrgyz); Rozi Heyt (Uyghur); Eid Nimaz (Sindhi); Korite (Senegal); Id (Uganda); Sallah (Hausa); Kochnay hi supAkhtar (کوچنی اختر) (Pashto); Eid-e Sa’eed-e Fitr (The Mirthful Festival of Fitr, Persian); Choti Eid (Urdu); Meethi Eid (Urdu); Cheriya Perunnal (Malayalam); Ramazanski bajram (Bosnian); Bajram (Albanian); Cejna Remezanê (Kurdish); Ramazanski bajram (Croatian); Рамазански бајрам (Serbian); Рамазан Байрам (Bulgarian); Ciid Yare (Somali); Id al-Fater (Ethiopia); Oraza baýramy (Turkmen); Suikerfeest (Dutch).

Before the advent of Islam in Arabia, there is mention of Eid festivals as well as some others among the Arabs. The Israelites had festivals as well, but as is evident from the Old Testament and other scriptures, these festivals related more to commemorating certain days of their history.

Eid al-Fitr was originated by the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is observed on the first of the month of Shawwal at the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims undergo a period of fasting.

According to certain traditions, these festivals were initiated in Madinah after the flight of Muhammad from Mecca. Anas reports:

When the Prophet arrived in Madinah, he found people celebrating two specific days in which they used to entertain themselves with recreation and merriment. He asked them about the nature of these festivities at which they replied that these days were occasions of fun and recreation. At this, the Prophet remarked that the Almighty has fixed two days [of festivity] instead of these for you which are better than these: Eid al-fitr and Eid al-adha

For Muslims, both the festivals of Eid al-fitr and Eid al-adha are occasions of showing gratitude to God and remembering him, and are an occasion of entertainment. ‘A’ishah narrates that when on an Eid day her father Abu Bakrstopped young girls from singing, Muhammad said: Abu Bakr! [Let them sing]; every nation has an ‘id and [this day] is our Eid.

Eid al-Fitr is celebrated for one, two or three days. Common greetings during this holiday are the Arabic greeting ‘Eid Mubārak (“Blessed Eid”) or ‘Eid Sa‘īd (“Happy Eid”). In addition, many countries have their own greetings in the local language – in Turkey, for example, a typical saying might be Bayramınız kutlu olsun or “May your Bayram – Eid – be blessed.” Muslims are also encouraged on this day to forgive and forget any differences with others or animosities that may have occurred during the year.

Typically, Muslims wake up early in the morning—always before sunrise— offer Salatul Fajr (the pre-sunrise prayer), and in keeping with the traditions of the Prophet Muhammad clean their teeth with a toothbrush, take a shower before prayers, put on new clothes (or the best available), and apply perfume.[6]

It is forbidden to fast on the Day of Eid.[7] It is customary to acknowledge this with a small sweet breakfast, preferably of the date fruit, before attending a special Eid prayer (known as salaat).

As an obligatory act of charity, money is paid to the poor and the needy (Arabic: Sadaqat-ul-fitr) before performing the ‘Eid prayer:[8]

  • To show happiness
  • To give as much charity as is possible
  • To pray Fajr in the local Masjid
  • To go early for Eid salaat
  • To read the takbirat in an open field.
  • Go to the Eid prayer on foot
  • Muslims recite the following incantation in a low voice while going to the Eid prayer: Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar. Lā ilāha illà l-Lāh wal-Lāhu akbar, Allahu akbar walil-Lāhi l-ḥamd. Recitation ceases when they get to the place of Eid or once the Imam commences activities.[9]
  • Muslims are recommended to use separate routes to and from the prayer grounds.[10]

The Eid prayer is performed in congregation in open areas like fields, community centers, etc. or at mosques. No call to prayer is given for this Eid prayer, and it consists of only two units of prayer with an additional six incantations. The Eid prayer is followed by the sermon and then a supplication asking for God’s forgiveness, mercy, peace and blessings for all living beings across the world. The sermon also instructs Muslims as to the performance of rituals of Eid, such as the zakat.[11] Listening to the sermon at Eid is a requirement i.e. while the sermon is being delivered; it is prohibited to talk, walk about or offer prayer.[12] After the prayers, Muslims visit their relatives, friends and acquaintances or hold large communal celebrations in homes, community centers or rented halls.

Eid gifts, known as Eidi, are frequently given at eid to children and immediate relatives.

Islamic tradition

Many Muslims often bring prayer rugs to the Mosque on Eid ul-Fitr.

Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. This has to do with the communal aspects of the fast, which expresses many of the basic values of the Muslim community; e.g., empathy for the poor, charity, worship, steadfastness, patience etc. Fasting is also believed by some scholars to extol fundamental distinctions, lauding the power of the spiritual realm, while acknowledging the subordination of the physical realm. It also teaches a Muslim to stay away from worldly desires and to focus entirely on the Lord and thank him for his blessings. It is a rejuvenation of the religion and it creates a stronger bond between the Muslim and his Lord. After the end of Ramadan, is a big celebration of Eid.[13]

Practices by country

Africa

Further information: Islam in Africa

In Africa, Eid is celebrated by Muslims in various areas, particularly in North Africa, the Horn of Africa and the Sahel, where Islam is adhered to by many.

Tunisia

Tunisia sees three to four days of celebration, with only 2 days as a national holiday (1st Eid and second Eid), with preparations starting several days earlier. Special biscuits are made to give to friends and relatives on the day, including “Baklawa” (Baklava) and several kinds of “ka’ak“. Men will go to the mosque early in the morning, while the women will either go with them or stay in and prepare for the celebration by putting together new outfits and toys for their children, as well as a big family lunch generally held at one of the parents’ homes. During the daylight hours, there may be dancing and music, but the feasting lasts all day long, and many gifts are a large part of tradition. Also, food is the centre of this holiday, so this is one of the hightlights of the evening.

Different members of a family visit each others. Usually, children accompany their father and visit aunts, uncles, grand parents and friends to congratulate them on the Eid. They will be offered drinks and special cookies. Women will stay at home with some of the children in order to welcome members of the family that come to visit and congratulate for the eid.

Egypt

Eid ul-Fitr is a three-day feast and an official holiday in Egypt with vacations for schools, universities and government offices. Some stores and restaurants are also closed during Eid.

The Eid day starts with a small snack followed by Eid prayers in congregation attended by men, women and children in which the sermon reminds Egyptians of the virtues and good deeds they should do unto others, even strangers, during Eid and throughout the year.

Afterwards, neighbours, friends and relatives start greeting one another. The most common greeting is “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Eid). Family visits are considered a must on the first day of the Eid, so they have the other two days to enjoy by going to parks, cinemas, theatres or the beaches. Some like to go on tours or a Nile cruise, but Sharm El Sheikh is also considered a favorite spot for spending holidays in Egypt.

Children are normally given new clothes to wear throughout the Eid. Also, women (particularly mothers, wives, sisters and daughters) are commonly given special gifts by their loved ones. It is customary for children to also receive a Eid-ey-yah from their adult relatives. This is a small sum of money that the children receive and is used to spend on all their activities throughout the Eid. Children will wear their new clothes and go out to amusement parks, gardens or public courtyards based on how much their Eidyah affords. The amusement parks can range from the huge ones on the outskirts of Cairo-Nile, Felucca Nile rides is one common feature of Eid celebration in Egyptian villages, towns and cities.

The families gatherings involve cooking and eating all kinds of Egyptian food like Fata, but the item most associated with Eid al-Fitr are Kahk (singular = Kahka), which are cookies filled with nuts and covered with powdered sugar. Egyptians either bake it at home or buy it in the bakery. Thus, a bakery crowded in the last few days of Ramadan with Kahk buyers is a common scene. TV in Egypt celebrates Eid too, with a continuous marathon of movies as well as programs featuring live interviews from all over Egypt of both public figures and everyday citizens, sharing their Eid celebrations.

For a lot of families from working neighborhoods, the Eid celebration also means small mobile neighborhood rides, much like a neighborhood carnival. In a lot of neighborhood courtyards, kids also gather around a storyteller, a puppeteer or a magician mesmerized by Egyptian folktales or by a grownup’s sleight of hand. It is also customary for kids to rent decorated bikes to ride around town.

Egyptians like to celebrate with others so the streets are always crowded during the days and nights of Eid.[14]

Somalia

In Somalia and other Islamic parts of the Horn region, Eid ul-Fitr is observed by the Muslim communities. Celebrations marking the event are typically accompanied by elaborate banquets, where special dishes such as xalwo (halwo or halva) are served.[15]

South Africa

In Cape Town, hundreds of Muslims will gather at Green Point in the evening of the last day of Ramadan each year for the sighting of the moon. The gathering brings together people from all walks of life, and everyone comes with something to share with others at the time of breaking the fast. The Maghrib (sunset) prayer is then performed in congregation and the formal moon-sighting results are announced thereafter.[16]

The festival of Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated by first attending the mosque in the morning for Eid prayer. This is followed by visiting relatives and neighbours. Children receive presents and money from elder members of the family, relatives and neighbours. Most people wear new clothes with bright colours, while biscuits, cakes, samosas, pies and tarts are presented to visitors as treats. Lunch is usually served in family groups. It is also customary to exchange gifts.

Nigeria

A group of Muslim drummers celebrate during Eid ul-Fitr.

Nigeria is officially a secular country populated by large numbers of Muslims and Christians. Eid is popularly known as “Small Sallah” in Nigeria and people generally greet each other with the traditional greeting: “Barka Da Sallah,” which means “Greetings on Sallah” in the Hausa language. Muslims observe their Eid prayers at designated praying grounds before heading home to partake in festive meals, generally prepared by the women of the household. The Federal holiday typically lasts for two days in Nigeria.

Middle East

Saudi Arabia

Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated with great pomp in Saudi Arabia. Saudis will decorate their homes and prepare sumptuous meals for family and friends. The whole country engages in untainted revelry during Eid. The innumerable Saudi Arabia festivals & events include the Eid ul-Fitr and Eid ul-Adha festivals.

Eid festivities in Saudi Arabia may vary culturally depending on the region, but one common thread in all celebrations is that the generosity and hospitable traditions of the Saudi people become quite apparent during Eid. First, it is common Saudi tradition for families to gather at the patriarchal home after the Eid prayers. Before the special Eid meal is served, young children will line up in front of each adult family member who dispenses Riyals (Saudi currency) to the children. Family members will also typically have a time where they will pass out gift bags to the children. These bags are often beautifully decorated and contain candies and toys.

Even many shopkeepers will show their generosity at Eid providing free Eid gifts with each purchase. For example, during Eid, many of the chocolate shops will give each customer who buys a selection of candies a free crystal candy dish with their purchase.

In the spirit of Eid, many Saudis go out of their way to show their kindness and generosity. It is common for even complete strangers to greet one another at random, even by occupants of vehicles waiting at stop lights. Sometimes even toys and gifts will be given to children by complete strangers.

It is also traditional in some areas for Saudi men to go and buy large quantities of rice and other staples and then leave them anonymously at the doors of those who are less-fortunate. Also, in some areas in the middle of Saudi Arabia, such as Al Qassim, it’s a common tradition that during Eid’s morning and after the Eid prayer people will put large rugs on one of streets of their neighborhood and each household will prepare a large meal where these meals will be shared by all neighbours, it’s also a common practice that people will swap places to try more than one kind of meal.

Turkey

Terminology

In Turkey, nation-wide celebrated holidays are referred to as bayram, and Eid ul-Fitr is referred to as both Şeker Bayramı (“Bayram of Sweets”) and Ramazan Bayramı (“Ramadan Bayram”).

Celebration

Traditional Bayram wishes from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, stating “Let us love, Let us be loved”, in the form of mahya lights stretched across the minarets of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

It is a public holiday, where schools and government offices are generally closed for the entire three-day period of the celebrations. The celebrations of this bayram are infused with national traditions. It is customary for people to greet one another with Bayramınız kutlu olsun (“May your bayram be blessed”[17]) or Bayramınız mübarek olsun (“May your bayram be blessed”). Mutlu Bayramlar (“Happy Bayram“) is an alternative phrase for celebrating this bayram. It is a time for people to attend prayer services, put on their best clothes (referred to as bayramlık, often purchased just for the occasion), visit all their loved ones (such as relatives, neighbours, and friends), and pay their respects to the deceased with organized visits to cemeteries, where large, temporary bazaars of flowers, water (for watering the plants adorning a grave), and prayer books are set up for the three-day occasion. The first day of the bayram is generally regarded as the most important, with all members of the family waking up early, and the men going to their neighbourhood mosques for the special bayram prayer.

It is regarded as especially important to honour elderly citizens by kissing their right hand and placing it on one’s forehead while wishing them bayram greetings. It is also customary for young children to go around their neighbourhood, door to door, and wish everyone a “Happy Bayram,” for which they are awarded candy, chocolates, traditional sweets such as baklava and Turkish Delight, or a small amount of money at every door, similar to the Halloween custom in the United States.

Municipalities all around the country organize fund-raising events for the poor, in addition to public shows such as concerts or more traditional forms of entertainment such as the Karagöz and Hacivat shadow-theatre and even performances by the Mehter – a Janissary Band founded during the days of the Ottoman Empire.

Afghanistan

In the predominantly Sunni Muslim culture of Afghanistan, Eid ul-Fitr holds significant importance and is celebrated widely for three days. The most common greeting is Eid Mubarak (Blessed Eid). This Eid among the Pashto-speaking community is called Kochnai Akhtar.

Afghans start preparing for the Eid ul-Fitr festival up to ten days prior by cleaning up their homes. The practice is called Khana Takani in Dari. Afghans visit their local bazaars to buy new clothes, sweets and snacks. Special treats served to guests during the festivities during Eid are: Jelabi (Jalebi), Shor-Nakhod (made with chickpeas), and Cake wa Kolcha (a simple cake, similar to pound cake).

On the day of Eid ul-Fitr, Afghans will first offer their Eid prayers and then gather in their homes with their families, greeting one another by saying “Eid Mubarak” and usually adding “Eidet Mobarak Roza wa Namazet Qabool Dakhel Hajiha wa Ghaziha,” which means “Happy Eid to you; may your fasting and prayers be accepted by God, and may you be counted among those who will go to the Hajj-pilgrimage.” Family elders will give money and gifts to children. It is also common practice to visit families and friends, which may be difficult to do at other times of the year. Children walk from home to home saying “Khala Eidet Mubarak” (“aunt happy Eid”), and they receive cookies or Pala.

South Asia

A panorama in 12 folds showing a fabulous Eid ul-Fitr procession by Muslims in the Mughal Empire.

In Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Nepal, the night before Eid is called Chaand Raat, which means, “Night of the Moon.” Muslims in these countries will often visit bazaars and shopping malls with their families for Eid shopping. Women, especially younger girls, will often apply the traditional Mehndi, or henna, on their hands and feet and wear colourful bangles.

The traditional Eid greeting is Eid Mubarak, and it is frequently followed by a formal embrace. Gifts are frequently given — new clothes are part of the tradition — and it is also common for children to be given small sums of money (Eidi) by their elders. It is common for children to offer salam to parents and adult relatives.

After the Eid prayers, it is common for some families to visit graveyards and pray for the salvation of departed family members. It is also common to visit neighbours, family members, specially senior relatives called Murubbis and to get together to share sweets, snacks and special meals including some special dishes that are prepared specifically on Eid. Special celebratory dishes in Pakistan, India, and Bangladesh include sivayyan, a dish of fine, toasted sweet vermicelli noodles with milk and dried fruit.[18] In Bangladesh, the dish is called shemai( Bengali: সেমাই ).

Mehndi is the application of henna as a temporary form of skin decoration, commonly applied during Eid ul-Fitr.

On Eid day before prayers, people distribute a charity locally known as fitra. Many people also avail themselves of this opportunity to distribute zakat, an Islamic obligatory alms tax of 2.5% of one’s annual savings, to the needy. Zakat is often distributed in the form of food and new clothes.

In Bangladesh, Sholakia (Bengali: শোলাকিয়া) is a locality famous for its Eidgah where the largest congregation of Eid prayer of the country is held on the occasion of Eid ul-Fitr, the day of celebration after the fasting month of Ramadan.[19] Around 300,000 people from all over Bangladesh join the prayer on every Eid.[20]

In India, some popular places for Muslims to congregate to celebrate Eid at this time include the Jama Masjid in New Delhi, Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, Aishbagh Idgah in Lucknow; in Kolkata there is a prayer held on Red Road. Muslims turn out in the thousands, as there is a lot of excitement surrounding the celebration of this festival. It is common for non-Muslims to visit their Muslim friends and neighbours on Eid to convey their good wishes. Eid is celebrated grandly in the city of Hyderabad which has rich Islamic Heritage. Hyderabadi haleem a type of meat stew is a popular dish during the month of Ramadan, it takes centre stage and becomes the main course at Iftar(the breaking of the fast).

Southeast Asia

Eid is known in Indonesia as Idul Fitri (or more popular as Lebaran) and is a national holiday. Additionally, in Indonesia Idul Fitri has a legally mandated salary bonus for all employees, known as Tunjangan Hari Raya (THR) as enforced by Indonesia’s Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration (“Kementerian Tenaga Kerja dan Transmigrasi”). The mandated amount of this salary bonus differs by region. For example, within the Jakarta region the THR bonus must be at least Rp not less than one month’s full salary paid in advance of Idul Fitri, in addition to the employee’s regular salary. Thus, Idul Fitri is also a paid holiday. Breaching or withholding THR is a very serious labour law infraction and punished severely, regardless of employer status or position.

In Malaysia, Singapore, and Brunei, Eid is more commonly known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri (Jawi: هاري راي عيدالفطري), Hari Raya Idul Fitri or Hari Raya Puasa. Hari Raya means ‘Celebration Day’. Idul Fitri is the biggest holiday in Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei; and one of the biggest in Singapore. Shopping malls and bazaars are usually filled with people to get things for Lebaran such as ; new clothes, shoes, sandals even food to serve days ahead of Idul Fitri, which creates a distinctive festive atmosphere throughout the country, along with traffic mayhem. Many banks, government and private offices are closed for the duration of the Lebaran festivities.

In Indonesia, it is common during this period for people to engage in “mudik” activity. It is an annual tradition that people in big cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya, or elsewhere, travel to their hometowns or other cities to visit relatives, to request forgiveness, or just to celebrate Eid with the whole family. The government of Indonesia has prepared the transportation infrastructures to accommodate a huge amount of travellers by repairing damaged roads and bridges. However, the impact is still tremendous as millions of cars and motorcycles jam the roads and highways, causing kilometres of traffic jams each year.[21] Additionally, the wealthier classes often “escape” to local hotels, or went overseas to avoid not having domestic servants, drivers or sometimes, security personnel. Singaporean, Malaysian and Indonesian hotels have been particularly successful marketing lucrative Lebaran or Idul Fitri “escape package”.

One of the largest temporary human migrations globally, is the prevailing custom of the Lebaran where workers, particularly unskilled migrants labourers such as maids and construction labourers return to one’s home town or city to celebrate with their families and also to ask forgiveness from ones’ parents, in-laws and elders. This is known as mudik, pulang kampung or in Malaysian balik kampung (homecoming).

The night before Idul Fitri is filled with the sounds of many muezzin chanting the takbir in the mosques or musallahs. In many parts of Indonesia and Malaysia, especially in the rural areas, pelita or panjut or lampu colok (as known by Malay-Singaporeans) (oil lamps, similar to tiki torches) are lit up and placed outside and around homes. Special dishes like ketupat, dodol, opor, cookies, rendang, lemang (a type of glutinous rice cake cooked in bamboo) and other Indo-Malay (and in the case of Malaysia, also Nyonya) delicacies are served during this day. The lively or alternatively very emotional devotional music blended with Qur’anic verses associated with Ramadan and Eid – known as Kaisidah or more correctly, Qasida – can be heard throughout the country. These are commonly performed by famous musicians, some of whom may be international stars, and televised nationwide.

It is common to greet people with “Selamat Idul Fitri” ( in Indonesia) or “Salam Aidilfitri” or “Selamat Hari Raya”(in Malaysia) which means “Happy Eid”. Muslims also greet one another with “mohon maaf lahir dan batin” in Indonesia and “maaf zahir dan batin” in Malaysia, which means “Forgive my physical and emotional (wrongdoings)”, because Idul Fitri is not only for celebrations but also a time for atonement: to ask for forgiveness for sins which they may have committed but was cleansed as a result of the fasting in the Muslim month of Ramadan.

Ketupat is a popular traditional celebrative dish for Eid ul-Fitr meal in Brunei, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore and Southern Thailand.

It is customary for Muslim-Indonesians and Muslim-Malaysians to wear a traditional cultural clothing on Eid ul-Fitr. The Indonesian male outfit is known as baju koko: a collarless long or short-sleeve shirt with traditional embroidered designs with a “kilt” sarung of songket, ikat or similar woven, plaid-cloth. Alternatively, men may wear either Western-style business suits or more traditional loose-fitting trousers with colour-matched shirts, and either a peci hat or regional cultural headwear and songkok. The Malay variant (worn in Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Southern Thailand and parts of Indonesia (in parts of Sumatera and Kalimantan) is known as the Baju Melayu, shirt worn with a sarong known as kain samping or songket and a headwear known as songkok.

Traditional female dress is known as kebaya kurung. It consists of, normally, a loose-fitting blouse (which may be enhanced with brocade and embroidery), a long skirt both of which may be batik, or the sarung skirt made of batik, ikat or songket and either the jilbab (hijab) or its variant the stiffened krudung. Malaysian clothing is referred to as Baju Kurung and baju kebaya. It is a common practice however for the Muslim-Malaysians in Singapore to refer to the baju kurung in reference to the type of outfit, worn by men.

For non-Austronesian Muslims, or even non-Muslims they may don costumes of their respective culture and tradition, or wear Islamic clothes to show respect to their relatives’ or friends’ differing religious beliefs for the occasion. This is particularly common in Indonesia, where many families have close friends or relatives of differing faiths, namely Catholic, some Protestant, some Hindu, Buddhist and Muslim.

Rows of Pelita (oil lamps) which is used to illuminate homes and the streets during the season. Seen here in Muar, Johore

Once the prayer is completed, it is common for many Muslims in both Indonesia and Malaysia to visit the graves of loved ones. During this visit, they will clean the grave, recite Ya-Seen, a chapter (sura) from the Qur’an and also perform the tahlil ceremony. All these are done as a means to ask God to forgive both the dead and the living for their sins. The Javanese majority of Indonesia are known for their pre-Islamic Kejawen traditions of washing the headstone using scented water from the traditional terracotta water-jug, the kendi, and sprinkling hyacinth and jasmine over the graves.

In Indonesia there is a special ritual called halal bi-halal. During this, Muslim-Indonesians visit their elders, in the family, the neighbourhood, or their work, and show respect to them. They will also seek reconciliation (if needed), and preserve or restore harmonious relations.[22] The rest of the day is spent visiting relatives or serving visitors. Idul Fitri is a very joyous day for children as the adults give them money, in colourful envelopes.

In Malaysia, specially in the major cities, people will take turns to set aside a time for open house when they stay at home to receive and entertain neighbours, family and other visitors. It is common to see non Muslims made welcome during Eid at these open houses. They also celebrate by lighting traditional bamboo cannon firecrackers known as meriam bambu Ramadhan; or in Malaysia as meriam buluh, using kerosene in large hollow bamboo tubes or Chinese imported crackers. The traditional bamboo cannon, meriam bambu, and fireworks are notoriously loud and can be very dangerous to operator, bystander and even nearby buildings. These are usually bamboo tubes 5–10 cm (2.0–3.9 in) in diameter and 4–7 m (13–23 ft) long, filled with either: water and several hundred grams of calcium carbide, or heated kerosene, then ignited by match.

Celebrating with firecrackers in the early morning during Ramadan is now banned in many areas – though many rascals evade the law and disturb the neighbourhood.[citation needed]

In Malaysia, children will be given token sums of money, also known as “duit raya”, from their parents or elders.[23][24]

In the Philippines, Eid ul-Fitr, known to the Christian majority and other non-Muslims as “Wakás ng Ramadán” (“End of Ramadan”) or incorrectly as “Ramadan“, has been recognised by the Filipino Government as a regular holiday by virtue of Republic Act No. 9177 and it is also according to Presidential Decree No. 1083, signed into law on November 13, 2002 – the only Christian country worldwide to have done so. This law was enacted in deference to the Filipino Muslim community and to promote peace and harmony among major religions in the Philippines. The first national commemoration of Eid ul-Fitr was on December 6, 2002, marked by prayers and celebrations by the Muslim community.

Other

Australia

In Australia, a predominantly non-Muslim, secular country, Muslims are able to practice their religion with great freedom. Most large companies allow for special religious holidays allowing Muslims to take a day off for Eid ul-Fitr. Areas where there are large (but not necessarily majority) Muslim populations have overflowing attendances at the mosque for the Eid ul-Fitr prayer and police frequently block off roads and divert traffic to cater for the prayer and subsequent festivities. Eid prayers are also held in open areas (playground, stadium) in some places.

In 1987, The Australian MEFF Consortium commenced the Multicultural Eid Festival and Fair[25] to celebrate Eid in Sydney, held shortly after Eid ul-Fitr. The festival has grown to now cater for tens of thousands of Muslims and non-Muslims and has included as guests Yusuf Islam, famous Australian footballer, Hazem El Masri, the then Governor-General of Australia, Michael Jeffery and the previous Premier of New South Wales, Kristina Keneally. This festival has now been replicated in cities all around Australia. The biggest Eid fair in Melbourne is held in Broadmeadows usually on the weekend following the Eid day. In Canberra, the capital of Australia, Eid Festival sponsored by Australian Federal Police (AFP) is held on the following Sunday after the Eid day. The festival includes stalls from different nations, cultutral program, and numerous entertaining rides for kids and adults.

Burma/Myanmar

Eid ul-Fitar lasts for only one day among Burmese Muslims, who call the day Eid Nei’ (Nei’=day) or Eid Ka Lay (Ka Lay=small) or Shai Mai Eid (Shai Mai=a meal of sweet vermicelli served with fried cashews, coconut shreds, raisins, and milk that is traditionally eaten by Burmese Muslims during Eid). Burmese Muslims predominantly follow the Hanafi school of jurisprudence in Sunni Islam.

During Ramadan, in the small towns and big villages with significant Muslim populations, Burmese Muslim youth organize singing teams called Jago (in Urdu and Hindi), which means “wake up.” Jago teams usually do not use musical instruments apart from the occasional use of harmonica mouth organs.[26] These youth will walk throughout the neighborhoods before sunrise to wake up the fellow Muslims for Suhoor (pre-dawn meal), which precludes the day of fasting.

The roving groups of singers will take the tunes of popular Hindi movie songs, replaced with Burmese lyrics and invocations about fasting, the do’s and don’ts of Islam and about the benefits of Salaat.[27] These songs could also be called Qawwali, which are popular in India and Pakistan. Sometimes these Jago groups will also visit Muslim homes on the Eid day, where they are welcomed with food and monetary donations for the team with Eidi or Duit Raya.

Although Eid ul-Fitr is not a public holidays in Burma, most employers have an understanding of the festival and are usually willing to accommodate days off for Muslim staff. Some may even take time off during office hours to visit with Muslim staff at their homes, usually accompanied by other non-Muslim coworkers. As there is no single Islamic authority in Burma to make official decisions on moon-sighting, it is sometimes difficult to reach consensus on the start and end of Ramadan. This often results in Eid being celebrated on different days in small towns and villages.

The Eid al-Adha “Festival of Sacrifice” or “Greater Eid” is a public holiday in Burma as this event falls annually on the 10th day of the month of Dhu al-Hijjah (ذو الحجة) in the lunar Islamic calendar. Unlike Muslim countries that observe a three-day festival, Eid al-Adha is only observed on one day in Burma. During both Eids, the traditional greeting is merely the common Islamic greeting of Assalamualaikum, and Eid Mubarak is only seldom heard. The greeting is followed by placing the right hand on the forehead (as if giving a salute); there is no shaking of hands and rarely only includes a formal embrace.

Gifts and food are frequently given to the elder relatives and even to non-Muslim employers and government authorities. New clothes are traditionally given to family members and coworkers, but Burmese Muslims elders will give Eidi gifts to children. Children will receive at least token amounts of money, even from strangers, especially if they went around the neighborhoods in groups just to collect Eidi. It is common for children and young people to go around giving greetings of “salaam” to parents, elder relatives and other elders in the community. During Eid, Burmese Muslims ask forgiveness from parents and elders and themselves try to forgive and forget any misunderstandings that may have occurred amongst one other.

Sometimes Burmese Muslims pray or perform Eid salah (called Eid Namaz) at an Eidgah at in open spaces outdoors. Burmese Muslim women typically do not attend the mosque or join with the men at an Eidgah.

As Burmese Muslims are discouraged by the religious authorities from decorating their homes with lights, lamps or colorful bulbs, sending Eid cards, and more recently, sending e-cards through the internet, is fairly common. Children and adults are also urged not to celebrate the religious festival with fireworks firecrackers.

United States of America

Most Muslims in the United States offer the Eid prayer in big-city Islamic centers, convention halls or open parks. Muslims from different cultures with multi-national customs get together for prayers and celebrations. In some cities, prayers are done at multiple times to accommodate the large number of attendees. Generally, Muslims visit each other’s homes on Eid or hold large feasts in mosques or community halls.

During the weekend of the Eid week, many Muslims join big parties sponsored either by a community mosque or Islamic center or by a wealthy Muslim in the community. Children receive gifts, and all participants enjoy sweet, spicy and other flavorful delicacies. Many Muslims also donate money to those less fortunate. Sometimes, Muslims reserve amusement parks, skating rinks or other activity centers for an entire day of fun.

In New York City alternate side parking (street cleaning) regulations are suspended. In Houston, Texas, the annual prayers are offered at the George R. Brown Convention Center in Downtown Houston, organized by the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH).

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has issued several Eid postage stamps, across several years – starting in 2001 – honoring “two of the most important festivals in the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.” Eid stamps were released in 2001–2002, 2006–2009, and a Forever® stamp in 2011.[28][29][30][31]

Canada

For Eid ul-Fitr, just as in the United States, most Canadian Muslims will take a day off from work and go to prayers held in big-city mosques or Islamic centres, convention halls or sports arenas. Muslims from different cultures with multi-national customs get together for prayers and celebrations. In the larger cities of Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary and Ottawa, congregational prayers may be done at multiple times to accommodate the large number of attendees. Many Muslims will visit each other’s homes on the Eid day or the days following to attend designated “open houses” in which everyone is welcome to visit. Children receive gifts or money, and sweets and tasty dishes are served throughout the day. Smaller Muslim communities, particularly in the rural areas, hold other communal gatherings in mosques or rented community halls. Muslims also donate money or contribute to their local food banks on this day for those who are less fortunate.

In many Canadian communities, Muslim organizations and mosques also hold large Eid parties that are open to the entire Muslim community. Some groups may reserve amusement parks or other activity centers for an entire day of fun and celebration, while others may hold public Eid parties in mosques as a means of outreach to the larger non-Muslim society.

Students from Canadian schools usually take 2–3 days off, due to the fact that Eid is a major holiday in the Islamic culture.

United Kingdom

Although Eid ul-Fitr is not a recognised public holiday in the United Kingdom, many Muslims do attend the morning prayer. In large ethnically Muslim areas, schools and local businesses often grant exemptions to the Muslim community in consideration of this holiday, allowing them to take days off.

During the morning, men of South Asian descent usually wear a thawb, jubba and sherwani, and women usually wear a salwar kameez. They will proceed to a local mosque for the Eid prayers, after which people greet each other. Some men may go to a local cemetery after Eid prayers to remember the deceased and pray for them. When they return home they will congratulate family, friends, and other Muslims and visit relatives across the city. They may also cook traditional food and sweets for their relatives. Bengali dishes and Pakistani dishes such as samosas, Siweya, Rice and Handesh, Noonor Bora, and Fulab are particularly popular within those communities.

China

See also: Islam in China

An ethnic Hui family celebrating Eid ul-Fitr in Ningxia

In the People’s Republic of China, out of 56 officially recognized ethnic groups, Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated by at least 10 ethnic groups that are predominantly Muslim. These groups are said to total 18 million according to official statistics, but some observers say the actual number may be much higher. It is also a public holiday in China in certain regions, including two Province Prefecture Level regions, Ningxia and Xinjiang. All residents in these areas, regardless of religion, are entitled to either a one-day or three-day official holiday. Outside the Muslim-majority regions, only Muslims are entitled to a one-day holiday. In Xinjiang province, Eid ul-Fitr is even celebrated by Han Chinese population during which holiday supplies of mutton, lamb and beef are distributed to households as part of welfare program funded by government agencies, public and private institutions, and businesses.

In Yunnan province, Muslim populations are spread throughout the region. On Eid ul-Fitr, however, some devotees may travel to Sayyid ‘Ajjal‘s grave after their communal prayers. There, they will conduct readings from the Qur’an and clean the tomb, reminiscent of the historic annual Chinese Qingming festival, in which people go their ancestors’ graves, sweep and clean the area and make food offerings.

Finally the accomplishments of the Sayyid ‘Ajall will be related in story form, concluded by a special prayer service to honor the hundreds of thousands of Muslims killed during the Qing Dynasty, and the hundreds killed during the Cultural Revolution.[32]

Fiji

Muslims comprise around 7% (63,000 people) of the total population of Fiji, a small tropical island-nation north east of Australia. The Islamic community mostly consists of people of Indian origin, who were brought to the islands in the late 19th and early 20th centuries there are also a few hundred indigenous Fijian Muslims (Melanesians).

The day of Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated in Fiji with Muslim men attending the mosque for Eid prayer. (Women do not go to the mosques for prayers in most parts of Fiji). This is followed by visiting relatives and neighbors. Children receive presents and money from elder members of the family, relatives and neighbors. Most Muslims will wear new clothes on this day, and serve samai, a dish of fine, sweet vermicelli noodles mixed in warm milk. This is usually accompanied by samosas, curried chicken and beef as well as sweets and Indian snacks for guests visiting throughout the day.

The traditional Eid greeting is Eid Mubarak, and it is frequently followed by a formal embrace.

Mauritius

Mauritius is a diverse island nation where several religions live together in relative harmony. Muslims make up about 16.6% of the total population and Eid is one of the island’s national holidays. Eid itself is celebrated across the island, with the preparation of a feast, which typically includes the “briyani”. Men accomplish their Eid prayer at the local mosques or at the Eid Gah. Cultural shows are usually performed in the days that follow Eid.

In the Gregorian calendar

Although the date of Eid ul-Fitr is always the same in the Islamic calendar, the date in the Gregorian calendar falls approximately 11 days earlier each successive year, since the Islamic calendar is lunar and the Gregorian calendar is solar. Hence if the Eid falls in the first ten days of a Gregorian calendar year, there will be a second Eid in the last week of the same Gregorian calendar year. The Gregorian date may vary between countries depending on the local sightability of the new moon. Some expatriate Muslim communities follow the dates as determined for their home country, while others follow the local dates of their country of residence. In the Islamic calendar, a new day, and therefore also Eid ul-Fitr, begins at sunset.

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Mr. Rodolfo “Dolphy” Quizon, passed away, July 17, 2012 at 2034H (8:34PM) due to Multiple Organ Failure, secondary to complications brought about by Severe Pneumonia, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, and Acute Renal Failure. According to Makati Medical Center .

Every Filipino People now give the sympathy to the Family of Dolpy because of his death. Six (6) decades of laughter given by the One and Only King of Philippine Comedy ” Rodolfo Quizon” Dolpy. Thank you for the joy you share for every Filipino and even to all people around the world who watch your movie, you are the model to us. I’m sure you are in the hand now of our  Lord.

Despite his high regard for the late King of Comedy Dolphy (or Rodolfo Vera Quizon Sr. in real life), President Benigno Aquino III won’t intervene in the process to select the new set of National Artists.

“The President thinks very highly of Mang Dolphy. However, we have stated in the past that we do not want to politicize the process. We do not want to make any prejudgments,” deputy presidential spokesperson Abigail Valte said during a briefing in Malacañang on Wednesday.
She issued the statement amid calls to declare Dolphy, who passed away on Tuesday night, as National Artist.
The National Commission for Culture and the Arts (NCCA), together with the Cultural Center of the Philippines (CCP), manages the process for the award.
The selection of nominees is administered by the Special Research Group, which validates the works of the nominees, and the National Artist Award Council of Peers, which screens the nominees and recommends them to the NCCA and CCP boards. The boards then deliberate and make a vote.
The final list is then presented to the President, who confirms the list and confers the award.
Dolphy nominated
Valte said that Communications Group Undersecretary Manolo Quezon had spoken to the NCCA last week and was informed that Dolphy has been nominated for the Award.
She said the late comedian was nominated by the Manila City Council.
“They will be receiving other nominations. The NCCA has gotten clearance from the Office of the Solicitor General to proceed with the screening and the vetting of nominees for National Artist for 2012. So they will be proceeding with their screening and vetting,” she said.
Valte said that when Dolphy was nominated for the same award in 2009, he only managed to pass the first screening and not the succeeding ones.
She noted, however, that they don’t want to preempt the selection process.  She likewise refused to comment on Aquino’s inclination regarding the issue.
“The President obviously has very great respect for Mang Dolphy. Nakita naman din po natin ‘yung naging pahayag ‘nung Pangulo—‘yung naging pahayag ng Pangulo noong ginawaran po siya ‘nung Order of the Golden Heart—and apart from that the statement of the President yesterday,” she said.
“[Pero] magsasalita na lang po tayo kapag nakapagbigay na ng shortlist ang NCCA for the award,” she added.
Earlier in the day, the Palace official also said that the conferment of the award must go through the proper process.
The award
The National Artist Award (Gawad Pambansang Alagad ng Sining) is considered “the highest national recognition given to Filipino individuals who have made significant contributions to the development of Philippine arts.”
The award is given both to living artists and to those who died after the establishment of the award in 1972 who excelled in the following fields: Music, Dance, Theater, Visual Arts, Literature, Film, Broadcast Arts, and Architecture and Allied Arts.

Of the 57 National Artists listed by the National Commission for Culture and the Arts, 17 were recognized posthumously, including the country’s first National Artist Fernando C. Amorsolo.
Other National Artists who were recognized posthumously are Amado V. Hernandez (Literature), Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco (Painting), Ernani Joson Cuenco (Music), Felipe Padilla De Leon (Music), Ishmael Bernal (Film), J. Elizalde Navarro (Painting), Jose T. Joya (Painting), Lino Brocka (Cinema), Ramon Valera (Fashion Design), Rolando S. Tinio (Theater and Literature), Severino Montano (Theater), Vicente S. Manansala (Painting), Wilfrido Ma. Guerrero (Theater), Gerardo “Gerry” De Leon (Film), Pablo S. Antonio (Architecture), and Ronald Allan K. Poe, more popularly known as Fernando Poe Jr. (Film).
Fernando Poe Jr. is the only film actor to receive the award.
Recipients of the award are entitled to a cash prize of up to P100,000, monthly life pension, medical benefits, life insurance coverage, and a state funeral.
Valte, meanwhile, said Aquino has expressed his intention to visit Dolphy’s wake but has yet to set a specific schedule for it.

She also said that the President will still have to hear proposals to declare a National Day of Mourning for the actor’s passing.

Close friends and family members pay their last respects to Comedy King Dolphy during the private viewing at the Dolphy Theater in Quezon City on Wednesday.

After Dolphy passed away at the age of 83 on Tuesday, Filipino celebrities in the Philippines and abroad took to Twitter to pay tribute to the Comedy King.

Actor, television host and politician Edu Manzano said on Twitter “Heaven became a happier place today. The angels will be laughing together with our one and only King of Comedy. Rest in peace, friend.”

Dolphy, born Rodolfo Quizon Sr.  in Tondo, Manila on July 25, 1928, passed away at the Makati Medical Center (MMC)due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

Dolphy was embraced by the Philippines for his jokes as he appeared in various films and television shows such as “John en Marsha.”

One of Dolphy’s sons, Eric Quizon, an actor, said about his father just after midnight on Wednesday: “He lived a full life. He’s at rest. He’s at peace. He knew as he was going how much the country loved him.”

Dolphy has been confined at the MMC since June 9 due to difficulty in breathing, pneumonia, and kidney ailments.

“He knew how everyone was praying for him. And if he could, he would have stayed just so he could thank you personally. But where his spirit was strong, his body had so weakened. He had to go,” Eric said.

“Pray for his eternal repose and in his honor, please smile at the person standing next to you. Heaven is a happier place with him there. And for us whom he’s left behind, comedy is dead but long live comedy,” he said.

On Twitter, Filipinos here and abroad tweeted their reaction to Dolphy’s death:

Boy 2 Quizon: “I love you lolo!”

Bruno Mars: “RIP Dolphy. King of Comedy. Made in the Philippines!”
Lea Salonga: “RIP, Comedy King. You are sorely missed. Condolences to the Quizon Family, you are in our prayers.”

KC Montero: “Dolphy has them all laughing”

Tim Yap: “A moment of silence for The King of Comedy. RIP Mang Dolphy.”

Jim Paredes: “Farewell King of Comedy.. We love you. Salamat sa lahat..Naiiyak ako…”

Bea Binene: “May you rest in peace, The Great Dolphy. R.I.P.”

Allan K.: “They say its not how long but how sweet you have lived life. Dolphy had the luxury of enjoying both. Rest in peace now. Hail to the king!!!”

Sharon Cuneta: P.9 my beloved Tito Dolphy. I will continue to do my best to follow the beautiful example you set for all of us, even when you didn’t”

Vice-Ganda: “Lord we thank you for giving us THE DOLPHY who unselfishly and passionately dedicated his whole life to make this world happy. Amen.”

Pia Magalona: “RIP Tito Dolphy. Thank you for being family to me and Francis. We love you <3”

Clara Magalona: “RIP Dolphy ☹ You have made lots of Filipinos smile because of your comedy. Our prayers are with you †”

Edu Manzano: Thank you for paving the way for those of us who tried to walk the path you made. You will be missed, my mentor and friend.#RIPDolphy

I pray for the soul of the comedy king dolpy. May his Soul Rest In Peace eternal Grant O Lord for eternal Life , In Jesus Name… Amen….

Thank you for the 6 decades of laughter and Goodbye The Comedy King , You Always in our Heart.

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This past year, I have come to appreciate the power of truly loving myself. Most of my life, being alone was one of my biggest fears. I found myself in numerous relationships for the wrong reasons and ended up settling in ill-fitting ‘partnerships’. This deeply rooted fear and lack of understanding of myself caused the relationships to become my whole world; my focus of attention; my center. I would sacrifice my own goals for the other person. And, when the relationship collapsed, so did my sense of self.

Through much introspection, I realized the source of these failed relationships was myself. I realized that I didn’t truly love or appreciate myself and had relied on external sources for love and approval. I decided to change. I had to overcome my fear of loneliness by finding independence and personal freedom. Even since I found true appreciation for myself, the quality of relationships I have attracted has been phenomenal. I have discovered that the more I loved and understood myself, the less I feared being by myself, and the more healthier relationships I was able to attract into my life.

I started doing what I called “Dates with myself“. Regardless my external relationship status, I would schedule time with myself. I would literally take myself out on a date and spend that time totally focused on myself. It’s my time. We spend so much time and energy focused on others that we forget to recharge the source of that energy. It is only when you are well that you can have the energy and internal resources to make a positive difference and help others. This is a simple, yet powerful concept that can dramatically improve your wellbeing, effectiveness and mental health.

Before attempting a ‘date with yourself’, Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Remove Disturbances – unplug your phone, power down the cell phone and blackberry, shut down the computer, turn off the tv. Do not let your mind get distracted during your self-date. This is your time to just be with yourself.
  • Being Solo – It’s important that you are on your own. You can talk to strangers, and make new friends, but you are on the self-date to get acquainted with yourself, no one else. If you live with a partner, schedule it so he/she isn’t home, or just take yourself out of the house. If you have kids, find a sitter, or plan around when your kids are not at home. It’s also important to realize that this time is a gift for yourself, and you should only be focused on your well-being.
  • Schedule – Plan how long you would like your dates to last. Set a minimum time, and commit to focus on yourself for at least that time. I typically schedule 2-4 hour dates with myself.
  • Communicate – if you are in a relationship, it’s important to communicate what you are doing and it’s benefits clearly with your partner. Not only do we get their support, but also avoid any misunderstandings or neglect.

Here are some ideas for ‘dates with yourself’. You can intermix several activities below into one date:

  • Reading Date – Go to a trendy café or find a comfortable place at home and read something inspirational for an hour or more. Have some hot herbal tea, cut up some fruits or crackers with cheese. Fully enjoy the experience.

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Thank You, Lord

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As I open my eyes

The world around excites

The sun shines in the east

The nature sings its beauty

I thank God.

 

As I extend my arms,

The human heart starts beating

The emotion gets searing

The smile becomes evident

I praise God.

 

As I start to think,

All things take place

Problems vanish

and tranquility spreads

I glorify God.

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What Is A Dad?

A dad is someone who
wants to catch you before you fall
but instead picks you up,
brushes you off,
and lets you try again.

A dad is someone who
wants to keep you from making mistakes
but instead lets you find your own way,
even though his heart breaks in silence
when you get hurt.

A dad is someone who
holds you when you cry,
scolds you when you break the rules,
shines with pride when you succeed,
and has faith in you even when you fail…

A father is someone that
holds your hand at the fair
makes sure you do what your mother says
holds back your hair when you are sick
brushes that hair when it is tangled because mother is too busy
lets you eat ice cream for breakfast
but only when mother is away
he walks you down the aisle
and tells you everything’s gonna be ok

The greatest thing a FATHER can do to his children, is to love their mother.

 

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Ex 24:3-8
Ps 116:12-13, 15-18
Hb 9:11-15
Mk 14:12-16, 22-26
“Then God said to Moses, ‘Come up to the LORD, you and Aaron, Nadab and Abihu and seventy of the elders of Israel, and you shall worship at a distance. Moses alone, however, shall come near to the LORD, but they shall not come near, nor shall the people come up with him. Then Moses came and recounted to the people all the words of the LORD and all the ordinances; and all the people answered with one voice and said, ‘All the words which the LORD has spoken we will do!” Ex 24:1-3

The Holy Covenant of God with Israel is renewed with Moses, who is described as “a very humble man, more so than any other man on earth” (Nm 12:3). God chooses and invites Moses, his brother Aaron and two sons (Nadab and Abihu), and seventy other elders of Israel to come up to the Mountain of God and worship at a distance (Ex 19:22), however only Moses is commanded to ascend to the summit of the Mountain, which was surrounded by clouds and fire. Although God cannot be seen directly, the divine presence of the Almighty One speaks to Moses face to face, and he conveys the Word of God to the people.

A Covenant is made between two contracting parties in agreement, which in this case is between God and the children of Israel. God has revealed to the people what is imposed upon them through Moses’ recitation of the Law (Ex 20-23), and the people unanimously agree in unity and declare their willingness to perform the prescribed duties given to them. Moses, acting as the mediator, writes down what God has spoken to Him in the silence and secrecy of the summit and makes an official record called the ‘Book of the Covenant’ that is to be obeyed by the chosen holy nation. Later, the Book of the Law will be placed beside the Ark of the Covenant when the Tabernacle is built. God’s spoken word is written by the hand of man and preserved by their authority, however in order for the Jewish covenant to be ratified and binding a sacrifice must be offered, blood must be shed to seal the Covenant, and sprinkled upon the people in a solemn and affecting ceremony.

The next day at the foot of the mountain Horeb (Mt Sinai) an altar is built. It signifies the earthly footstool before God’s real presence at the Mountain, and is placed off-limits to the rest of the people. Erected around the altar are twelve boundary-stones or pillars that represent the twelve tribes of Israel. These do not serve as mere memorials but represent the presence of Israel gathered together before the Throne of God. Under the direction of Moses, young men (acting as priests) are chosen to represent the tribes, and sent out for the purpose of killing and flaying, the young oxen, presenting them to the Altar for the whole burnt offering that will be the first holy rite of the Covenant. A second rite will later conclude the ceremony by a communion of the sacred meal that was sacrificed.

In the first procession of rites several young bulls were gathered and slaughtered, pouring out a considerable quantity of blood that would fill several basins. The blood of the atonement was spilled and then divided into two parts: one half to be poured on the sides of the altar and sprinkled by hyssop and the other half was dedicated for the surrounding pillars. Although the blood was divided into two parts, it was not a mixture of different kinds of bloods but of one blood and signifying one union between the altar of God and the footstool of man. The sacrifice of animal life served as an expiation of pure life for sinful man, and thereby restored the fellowship of God with man that was destroyed by sins committed against the Lord. The sacrificial blood was first sprinkled upon the altar before the living God to manifest that the people have given up their lives to God and have passed through death. Then the sacrificial blood was sprinkled upon the people (that is, thrown in the direction of the people with hyssop branches) to signify a restoration of life that was renewed by the grace of God’s mercy. Through the divine grace that was manifested upon the altar, the human soul received the forgiveness of sins that would sanctify and lead men into a new and holy life. The Blood of the Covenant showed a bond of union of God with man and the unity of Israel. It was a renewal of life and an entering of Israel into the Kingdom of God, which composed of the priests and the children of Israel belonging to the twelve tribes, both of who were now filled with divine grace and raised into the unity of God’s beloved nation and mother.

After the sacrifice of the whole burnt offerings and the sprinkling of the blood in the ratification ceremony, Moses, Aaron and his two sons, and the seventy elders walked mid-way up the mountain of God to share in the communion and consumption of the sacrificed flesh, the peace offering, before the presence of God (Ex 24:9-11). Together those who gathered before the Lord were able to eat of the one flesh and drink of the one blood of the Old Covenant. This sacred meal was an offering of peace and thanksgiving, the final seal placed upon the Covenant. This communal feast before the presence of the Lord by the chosen priests was the climax of the Mosaic Theophany that renewed the intimate relationship of the chosen people with the Almighty God of Israel.

God has led the people out of the slavery of Egypt, defended Israel from Pharaoh, saved them by the waters of the Red Sea, driven them out to the desert for purification, provided manna and meat through grace from Heaven, fed their souls with faith and trust, and gathered the chosen nation before God’s holy Mountain. It was God’s will to separate the Jews from the world, so they could place their faith and trust in the Lord, and set up a hierarchy and law that would guide the people towards the Kingdom of God. This divine government would obey God’s will and share in a bond of unity, God’s gift of mercy, peace and unity. God engraved the Commandments upon the Rock and the Mosaic Laws spoken through the mediator and prophet Moses, a foreshadowing of the Church to come and Christ. A hierarchy was established of prophet, priest, people, and later king, upon which all were to consent and submit to the holy laws faithfully. Mercy was shown upon the people through the sacrifice, suffering, and pain of the sacrificed oxen. Consequently salvation was promised to the chosen nation by their obedience of the Law, and Victory was promised to come by the Messiah and King of Israel, who would lead the chosen nation into the glory of God. Israel therefore sought a king who would defeat the enemies, build God’s glory upon the earth, and rule with the mighty hand of authority. The appetites and pride of men eventually however outgrew their laws and sacrifices which pushed their traditions and ways away from God and towards self-glorification in the name of God.

“Behold, days are coming,’ declares the LORD, ‘when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant which I made with their fathers in the day I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, although I was a husband to them,’ declares the LORD. But this is the covenant which I will make with the house of Israel after those days,’ declares the LORD, ‘I will put My law within them and on their heart I will write it; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. They will not teach again, each man his neighbor and each man his brother, saying, ‘Know the LORD,’ for they will all know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them,’ declares the LORD, ‘for I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more” Jer 31:31-34.

God is faithful. The Almighty Father has fulfilled His promise and instituted a New Covenant, a New Testament, a New Law and Government upon the High Priest, Jesus Christ. The Lord is the King of kings, Omniscient Prophet, Lamb of God, Fountain of Mercy, Judge of Nations, Head of the Church, and Eternal Savior, who came down from Heaven and was born into the world of sins in order to redeem it through His mediation between God and men, His sacrifice upon the Cross, and the glorious Resurrection. As the Lord descended in Spirit from Heaven’s Mountain, so He ascended to the right Hand of the Father in Body and Spirit, and sent the Spirit of God upon His Body of the Church. The Church has been sent out to teach all nations in spirit and in truth, baptize the people into one faith, to dispense His grace and mercy, and be His authority until He comes again.

Christ was sought after by Herod, fled with His family into Egypt, was led into the desert for purification, passed through the river of Baptism, received the Spirit of the Lord from Heaven’s Mountain, chose His priests and prophets, was transfigured before a select few upon the Mountain in the presence of Moses and Elijah, instituted His Covenant at the Last Supper, poured out His Blood for the redemption of sinners as the Covenant seal, and has given His flesh to be eaten at the Altar in His Presence. The Lord has come to revive what has been dead, to build what has been broken, and to waken what has been asleep. The Little Daughter of Zion has risen because she has been touched by the Lord, has received and eaten true Bread from Heaven by the Mercy of the Lord, and today walks among men in the Spirit of God. The fear and law of the Old Covenant has been fulfilled by the faith and love in the New Covenant, and men are no longer called slaves but friends of the Lord who has come into the flesh and revealed the Eternal Word of God in Man.

“Six days later Jesus took with Him Peter and James and John his brother, and led them up on a high mountain by themselves. And He was transfigured before them; and His face shone like the sun, and His garments became as white as light. And behold, Moses and Elijah appeared to them, talking with Him. Peter said to Jesus, ‘Lord, it is good for us to be here; if You wish, I will make three tabernacles here, one for You, and one for Moses, and one for Elijah.’ While he was still speaking, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and behold, a voice out of the cloud said, ‘This is My beloved Son, with whom I am well-pleased; listen to Him!’ When the disciples heard this, they fell face down to the ground and were terrified. And Jesus came to them and touched them and said, ‘Get up, and do not be afraid.’ And lifting up their eyes, they saw no one except Jesus Himself alone. As they were coming down from the mountain, Jesus commanded them, saying, ‘Tell the vision to no one until the Son of Man has risen from the dead” Mt 17:1-9.

“While He was still speaking, they came from the house of the synagogue official, saying, ‘Your daughter has died; why trouble the Teacher anymore?’ But Jesus, overhearing what was being spoken, said to the synagogue official, ‘Do not be afraid any longer, only believe.’ And He allowed no one to accompany Him, except Peter and James and John the brother of James. They came to the house of the synagogue official; and He saw a commotion, and people loudly weeping and wailing. And entering in, He said to them, ‘Why make a commotion and weep? The child has not died, but is asleep.’ They began laughing at Him. But putting them all out, He took along the child’s father and mother and His own companions, and entered the room where the child was. Taking the child by the hand, He said to her, ‘Talitha kum!’ (which translated means, ‘Little girl, I say to you, get up!’). Immediately the girl got up and began to walk, for she was twelve years old. And immediately they were completely astounded. And He gave them strict orders that no one should know about this, and He said that something should be given her to eat” Mk 5:35-43.

“While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, ‘Take it; this is My body.’ And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from it. And He said to them, ‘This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. Truly I say to you, I will never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.’ After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives” Mk 14:22-26.

“And Jesus took with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be grieved and distressed. Then He said to them, ‘My soul is deeply grieved, to the point of death; remain here and keep watch with Me.’ And He went a little beyond them, and fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; yet not as I will, but as You will” Mt 26:37-39.

As Jesus hung on the Cross: …”Jesus knew that everything had now been completed and so that the scripture should be completely fulfilled, he said: I am thirsty’. A jar full of sour wine stood there; so putting a sponge soaked in the wine on a hyssop stick, they held it up to his mouth. After Jesus had taken the wine he said, It is fulfilled’; and bowing his head he gave up his spirit” Jn 19:28-30.

“But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you also may believe. For these things came to pass to fulfill the Scripture, ‘NOT A BONE OF HIM SHALL BE BROKEN.’ And again another Scripture says, ‘THEY SHALL LOOK ON HIM WHOM THEY PIERCED.” Jn 19:34-37

What good is the blood of goats and bulls? But if these have sanctified those who have been defiled and made their flesh clean once again through God’s grace, command and men’s faith and obedience, then how much greater, more powerful and merciful is the Blood of the Lamb of God? How much more will the Blood of Christ bring man to their knees in repentance in obedience, how much more will His Offering cleanse the conscience from dead and sinful works, and draw all men to worship the Living God who has poured out His Mercy into empty vessels.

“Then Jesus poured water into the basin, and began to wash the disciples’ feet and to wipe them with the towel with which He was girded. So He came to Simon Peter. He said to Him, ‘Lord, do You wash my feet?’ Jesus answered and said to him, ‘What I do you do not realize now, but you will understand hereafter.’ Peter said to Him, ‘Never shall You wash my feet!’ Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part with Me.’ Simon Peter said to Him, ‘Lord, then wash not only my feet, but also my hands and my head” Jn 13:5-9.

How little and insignificant is man before the Almighty Lord, how lowly can a man feel when the infinite God has stooped down from Heaven’s Throne and has revealed Himself and His ways of humility and love for His creation and the world. Christ is the Light of the world and has shined upon the darkness. The Son of God has sacrificed all and became the Victim for our sins so that we may be born again with peace, mercy, and love for all people, and be voluntarily led towards God by the way of His sacrificial love. Christ is the Bread from Heaven who has offered Himself to be eaten so that men may be filled with true and eternal nourishment through the power of the Holy Spirit. Life upon the earth has been renewed by the coming of the Lord, who has formed a new way of life in the spirit and truth of His Body, the Church. This faith and truth we receive through our Mother Church as we partake in the Supper of the Lamb. We stand as beloved disciples at the Cross of sacrifice and mercy in praise, adoration, and thanksgiving.

As we enter into the Penitential Rite of the Mass we confess our venial sins and are forgiven by the blood sacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God. Those who have separated themselves from God through mortal sins must be sprinkled with the hyssop of Heaven in the Sacrament of Reconciliation prior to Mass. The imprisonment and slavery that sin has shackled upon the soul must be touched and loosed by the thirst of the Lord upon the Cross for the sinner who has loved the repentant to the end. No man can enter into the Holy of Holies unless they have been restored into the divine life with sanctifying grace and made perfectly clean. After the purification rites are fulfilled we are able to pass through the moat and fortified walls by Christ’s grace, and consequently journey from the darkness and death of the world into the Holy City of God. The Liturgy of the Word begins once the Introduction Rites are completed by the faithful conformed into the unity of the Church. The Word of God is spoken and fills the hearts of men, lifts their spirit to the inner chambers of the Lord and draws them to the heights of Heaven. In the Liturgy of the Eucharist we are invited to enter into the mystery of the Lord’s Holy Sacrifice and Resurrection. Here the chosen and elect climb onto the Mountain of God and receive Christ in the Sacred Bread. Those who live apart from the Church are warned to not step upon the Mountain of God without being consecrated, in order not to pass judgment and condemn themselves (Ex 19:12). Through the Liturgy of the Eucharist at Mass we enter into the Holy of Holies and Throne of God at the Footstool of the Church. St. Paul warned the faithful that before receiving the Eucharist, consecrated by the Priest, everyone must examine themselves to be baptized into the faith of the Church, and be cleaned of all sin in order to partake of the Body and Blood of the Lord. Whoever eats and drinks the Body and Blood of the Lord without recognizing the Lord and the Baptism of the Church, eats and drinks their own condemnation (1Cor 11:27-32).

The Most Holy Eucharist is the source and summit of grace within the Church because God is present Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity. The very summit of the Mountain is reserved for priests who live in the presence of the Lord and speak to Him face to face as sons at the right hand of the Father. As Moses humbled himself before the Lord and was led by God to receive the Old Law and Covenant, so do Priests humble themselves before the presence of the Lord and receive the New Law and Covenant to share with the children of God. When we receive the real presence of Christ we unanimously accept the faith of the Church, the laws and traditions of Jesus Christ, the mercy of the Lord by His sanctifying Blood, and partake in the consumption of the flesh of the Son of Man who carries us into eternal life in His Spirit. Through faith and the power of the Holy Spirit we are united to Christ in a real and unbloodied manner.

Apostolic Succession continues the direct lineage that today’s priests have with Christ by the ‘Laying of Hands’ at ordination. It is the Lord who has fulfilled the mission He received from the Almighty Father, and the Lord who has the authority to dispense the authority upon men. The Church continues the Father’s mission by walking in the faith, mercy, and love of the Son, guarding the truth and leading the Body of Christ towards Salvation. This divine power is given to the Servants of Christ by the command and will of God who is made manifest through grace within the Sacraments of the Church. By the power of the Holy Spirit divine life is poured down upon the faithful from Heaven. Throughout the centuries the bishops of the Church have continuously passed God’s gift of grace and power to bring down the Bread of Heaven to the earth. God hears the prayers of every individual, however the priest has received the power to open the doors of Heaven and bring the living God upon the Altar of the Church. It is the duty of the zealous faithful to waken in the Spirit of God they have received, preach the Gospel, become witnesses to Christ, and open the doors of true enlightenment to those who live apart from Christ’s Bride and the Wedding Feast.

Christ invited the disciples, and they followed.
Christ spoke His commands and they obeyed.
Christ gave His teaching and they heard.
Christ breathed upon them His Spirit and they were sent off to preach the word and make disciples of nations, to gather all people into the One Body of Christ and One Faith.

The Kingdom of God already begins upon the earth, and it begins in faith and humility. Faith that leads to hope and love, and Humility that leads to obedience and following the Lord. An individual cannot be the Lord’s disciple without one or the other. Grace pushes every man forward to make the climb to the Mountain of the Lord in order to receive the Holy Spirit. God has invited every man, but only the poor man seeks the real presence of God, who understands his lowliness in the world. Christ has become poor to bring the glory of God and Spirit to man. Blessed are those who seek for the real presence of the Lord, who has purposely made Himself small and hidden so that beloved children of God, may not be afraid, but believe, receive and be nourished by the true Bread from Heaven.

“Jesus then said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.’ Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, always give us this bread.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am the Bread of Life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst” Jn 6:32-35.

“Now after this the Lord appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come. And He was saying to them, ‘The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; therefore beseech the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. Go; behold, I send you out as lambs in the midst of wolves” Lk 10:1-3. “But whatever city you enter and they do not receive you, go out into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust of your city which clings to our feet we wipe off in protest against you; yet be sure of this, that the kingdom of God has come near.’ I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for Sodom than for that city” Lk 10:10-12. “The one who listens to you listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me” Lk 10:16

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