For me, the end of Ramadan is a little bittersweet. Of course, there is the excitement of Eid-al-Fitr, the joyous festival at the end of Ramadan involving celebrations with friends and family, endless eating (I’m a foodie, so no complaints there), dressing up in your best traditional attires and the overall sharing of love, joy and kindness. Eid for me also marks the end of entire month of working until 3am in the morning, ensuring every customer at Nabila has found his or her perfect Eid outfit.
On the other hand, I know once Eid and the Eid holidays are over, I will immediately begin to miss the month of Ramadan. No other month parallels in its spirit and festivity.
The very last night of Ramadan, “Chaad Raat” (translation: Night of the Moon) is a mini celebration on its own. The Islamic calendar is lunar; therefore the last night of Ramadan is determined by the sighting of the new moon of Eid-al-Fitr. On this night homes start buzzing with Eid excitement and become filled with the aromas various Bangladeshi and non-Bangladeshi culinary delights. Eid gifts are exchanged, family and friends visit all day until the late hours of the night, henna is applied, all whilst Eid preparations are underway. It’s a beautiful chaos.
But once Chaad Raat is over, what does one wear on Eid day?
The options are endless for the women. Sarees, salwaar kameezes (suits), anarkalis, shararas, gowns and even lehangas are popular choices. The men generally dress in punjabis and some men also choose to wear sherwanis. Although the choices seem more limited for men, the various styles of punjabis and sherwanis along with accompanying accessories allow for a whole lot of personalisation.
One of the most popular dresses for Eid this year was the Indo-Western gown. The red dress I am wearing is one such example. Influenced by the styles of gowns popular in the West, these gowns combine the intricate detailing, handwork and embellishments used in the Indian subcontinent with the styling, silhouette and draping more common in the West.
The dress is a mixture of a gown, and a sharara as comes in two parts. The skirt, and long top piece that sits on top gives the dress a beautiful fall. The dupatta is small, and as opposed to coming as a separate piece, has been attached to the shoulder of the dress.
The dress is also largely made of lace and net which makes it relatively light weight for a gown. Red is without a doubt my favourite colour so I was very pleased whilst wearing this.
This particular dress is was not my Eid this year. I will write about Eid in Bangladesh, (particularly Dhaka), my Eid outfits and men’s Eid attires in the upcoming next posts.
Finally, as Ramadan comes to a close, I think it’s critical to give a special thank you to all the staff at Nabila who have worked day and night to make this season a success. Unfortunately, not everyone could be included in the picture, including the entire team at the Uttara showroom, everyone involved in tailoring, marketing, accounts and finance who have worked relentlessly behind the scene.
Retail staff at Nabila, Gushan 1 showroom, Dhaka
In many places around the globe, if you enter store at 4.50PM you may feel thoroughly unwelcome for coming in so close to closing time. Such attitudes are hard to come by in Bangladesh. Be it 2AM on a Saturday night, or 10AM on a Monday morning, rain, hail or shine retail staff such as the staff at Nabilacontinue to serve customers with a smile. This has taught me to well and truly appreciate and respect the hardworking and ever-joyful nature of people of Bangladesh.
To all my friends and family across the world and to everyone reading this post, Eid Mubarak! 🙂