Kam Akhtar/Eid ul-Fitr (or just Eid)
This is not really a local custom but we arrived near the end of Ramadan and I had never been in any other predominantly Muslim environments at this time of the year, so Mazar-e Sharif was the first place that I ever experienced Eid. Ramadan is the Islamic holy month of fasting and self-consecration to Allah. Eid ul-Fitr is a three day holiday which follows Ramadan. Eid is an Arabic word meaning "festivity" and Fitr means "to break the fast." (I asked several people, both Afghan and Westerners living there longer-term if Fitr was in any way synonymous with "breakfast," and was very surprised that no-one seemed to understand what I was asking.) During Eid, Muslims often wear their best clothes and attend special prayer services at their mosque or even in open fields or public squares. I was honored that some of my Afghan students asked me to attend one of these prayer services but our schedule would not allow it. During this festival, they visit family and friends in the local area and reestablish contact with distant relatives. Gifts are sometimes given but primarily to children. Another of the primary tenets of Islam, alms giving is also increased during this festival. All things considered, it is usually a celebratory time with some similarity to Christian Christmas.
One of our Western hosts told us that the Afghan name for this holiday is Kam Akhtar but all of my Afghan acquaintances called it Eid, except when explaining to me that Eid was their shorthand way of designating Eid ul-Fitr.
- Religious Travel
The best candy ever i had is called Shirpera and it is the one on the top of the photo. Something like milk chocolate with nuts, delicious! Then almonds in sugar, raisins, big sugar and again sugar called Qand, totally pure.
Nice and friendly people
If I have ever met Afghan, it was always nice man. They are very friendly, try to help and talk to you. If you as: How are you? They reply fine. They are always satisfied with life, not like in Czech. They enjoy the life as much as they can, although it is not easy there.
Quiet after dark
The city goes dead not long after dark. There is no longer a steady curfew but most people seem to stay in after dark. Eat early and get early nights when in Mazar! As with anywhere else, the risk of anything happening to you is much higher when there is nobody else around to witness it.
- Budget Travel
- Business Travel