New Delhi, (IANS) The decked-up markets around the 17th century Jama Masjid were bustling with revellers on Friday as many thronged the shops in the narrow bylanes of the Walled City for last-minute shopping ahead of Eid-ul-Fitr on Saturday.
Marking the end of the dawn-to-dusk period of fasting during the month of Ramadan when not a morsel of food or a drop of liquid passes the lips of the devout Muslims, the markets do brisk business on the eve of Eid-ul-Fitr and remain open all night.
Dressed in traditional fineries, the shoppers made a beeline for stores selling clothes, footwear, cosmetics, raw meat, and dry fruits among other commodities in the historic markets of Chandani Chowk, Ballimaran, Meena Bazar and Dariba Kalan.
“Wearing new clothes and footwear on Eid is a custom which everyone follows. It`s like a reward for the month-long fasting,” Suhana Mir, a 40-year-old shopper at Meena Bazar, told IANS.
“I have purchased a new salwar-kameez and I am looking for matching footwear and cosmetics,” said an excited 15-year-old Almas Arshi, shopping at the Ballimaran market.
However, the highlight of the festival has to be the mouth-watering gastronomical delights that are gorged upon by not only those who are fasting but others, too, who make it a point to visit the old quarters of the city during the festive days.
Sizzling chicken tikkas and mutton kebabs, giant woks with fried puris and massive cauldrons of curries, biryanis, and steaming milk leaves many salivating.
Fancied in particular are the sewai and lachha – both local and imported varieties – with prices varying from Rs.300 to Rs.350 per kg.
Javed Iqbal, a shopkeeper, said: “Sewai has always been in great demand during the holy month of Ramadan. We have varieties of sewai which includes handmade lachha, Kimami lacchha, Banarasi lachha, rumali laccha, imami lachha.”
Hameeda Bano, a housewife said: “Sewai is the most famous Eid delicacy. It is the first dish we serve to our guests who come at our home on the festival. There are many dishes which can be prepared from the sewai.”