India: Muslims Postpone Eid Celebrations to Accommodate Hindu Festival

Eid Celebrations

Muslims in the Indian state of Maharashtra postponed their Eid celebrations by one day to accommodate a regional Hindu festival called Varkari. Instead of celebrating Eid on July 18, Muslim residents of the small Maharashtrian town, Lonand, pushed their festivities to the following day so their Hindu counterparts could go ahead and observe their 1000-year-old tradition on Saturday.

Varkari is a religious practice among Vaishnavas, who sprouted out of Hinduism. Varkari revolves around the worship of Pandharpur, who happens to be an incarnation of the more popular Lord Krishna. The age-old movement is based on principles promoting moral behavior, self-restraint, humanity, equality and a strict avoidance of tobacco, alcohol as well as meat. According to scholars, Varkari has been practiced across Maharashtra and Karnataka since the 13th century, when those adhering to the Bhakti movement regarded it as their religious duty.

In an unusual but heart-warming gesture, Muslim residents of Lonand decided to postpone their own celebrations, as the traditions practiced during Eid evidently clashed with those of Varkari.

Photo Credits: Tarun Bharat

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