Eid in Bollywood: A time of celebration and tradition

Eid-ul-Fitr 2023 is being celebrated in the country on Saturday, April 22

Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan wave to their fans from their respective balconies on Eid 2022.
Shah Rukh Khan and Salman Khan wave to their fans from their respective balconies on Eid 2022.

Subhash K Jha

The three Khan superstars Shah Rukh, Salman and Aamir celebrate every major religious festival in India, be it Diwali, Eid, Christmas or Holi with equal enthusiasm. 

During Eid Salman’s home Galaxy Apartment is the brightest in Mumbai. It’s an open house at Salman’s on Eid with guests of every religious order streaming in throughout the day to savour the delicacies that Salman’s mother and the cooks whip up in the constantly-active kitchen.

Actor Shabana Azmi says: “This Eid our house is completely under renovation and we are living in a small flat so it’s a very small lunch with only family with full focus only on food. But I did the mandatory badaam cutting for the sheer khorma last night like Mummy used to do. I’ve received lots of messages from friends and nieces complaining bitterly that they are missing the food and their eidi so we will compensate for it next year. My parents (poet Kaifi Azmi and actress Shaukat Azmi) entertained us at our home without prejudice. During earlier times Abba’s friends would drop in and the standard fare dahi vadas and sheer  khorma. Now everybody just comes for lunch. Biryani, kebab, aloo gosht, chicken dum, mirchi ka salan and sheer  khorma are on the Eid menu. On the night before Eid everyone pools in to cut the badaam and pista for the sheer  khorma. Kids put on mehndi, bangle-wali comes to make jodas for all and everybody waits with bated breath to sight the Eid Ka Chand. Alas, the ghararas have made way for the more practical salwar-kurta. Kids look forward to their Eidi. I love the goodwill and the bonhomie and most of all the continuity of tradition. My sister-in-law Tanvi is a Hindu and she celebrates Eid with unconditional joy. Javed and I are equally enthused by Eid and Holi. Friends are called over, bonhomie flows.It’s a time when everybody feels so much love. There is singing, dancing, and lots and lots of good food. There is no difference between Holi and Eid. Festivity is identity-free.”

Veteran actress Zarina Wahab doesn’t celebrate Eid at home , she says: “Because I am married into a Hindu family and there isn’t much happening during Eid in my own home. So I rush to my sister’s place during Eid. It’s the one time of the year when I indulge myself freely in the food that I like to cook for all my friends throughout the year.”

For Ghazal singer Talat Aziz Eid is a day of huge import. “Eid prayer in the mosque, then at home my wife makes sheer khurma and would have it first thing in the morning. When (classical vocalist) Sultan Khan Saheb was alive I would go to his house for Eid as he lived nearby and would have some tea and sheer khurma. Would also visit Khayyam Sahab. Rest Eid greetings would be attended on WhatsApp. We get a lot of greetings on WhatsApp, Facebook and Instagram these days. We try to acknowledge each one as best as we can. Then we go to Sanjay Khan and Zarine’s house for the Eid party they would have every year.”

The legendary Waheeda Rehman is not much into the Eid celebration any more. “The children have grown up. They’ve their own lives. It’s not like Christmas in the West where the entire family gathers to celebrate. That enthusiasm from earlier times is missing now.”

Mahesh Bhatt says: “Celebrations begin as soon as we spot the moon. Like every year we usher in Eid by playing Gali mein aaj chand nikla from my last directorial film Zakhm. I look forward to eating my Eid speciality, a uniquely designed vegetable biryani made specially for me by my neighbour. Do you know I keep all the Roza in the memory of my mother? I’ve been doing that since 1998 after her demise.”

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