Id (Throughout West
Id is the largest festival to the Muslims of West Bengal. Id-ul-Fitr comes after the lapse of the Ramjan month and marks a happy communion after a month of prayer and fasting. Seventy days after Id-ul-Fitr, comes another festive occasion - Id-uj-Joha. It is celebrated throughout the state, but with great grandeur in Kolkata. A very large congregation of Muslims as well as non-Muslims is held at the
Idul-Fitr marks the conclusion of a month of fasts (Ramzan) and is comparable in the
splendour of celebrations to the Durga Puja of the Hindus. Wearing of New clothes is a must and after the special Morning Prayer which is joined by every male in front of a mosque or in an open space, there is a general round of embracing. It is a day of feasting and quiet merriment, assembles for religious discourses being a main part of the days observances.
Iduzzoha (Idul-Korbab) or Bakr-Id is the other compulsory celebration of Muslims, when animal sacrifice is made. The mythological basis of the observance, older than Islam is related to Prophet Abraham of the Old Testament.
The celebration of the birthday of Sri Ramakrishna Paramahamsa is another notable religious festival held every year on a day in early March at the
Belur Math, headquarters of the Ramakrishna mission. The solemn observance draws not only Hindus but people of other religions and Non-Indians, and lakhs of people converge there to pay homage to the great saint. Hindu and Muslim Saints of local fame are commemorated in countless fairs and celebrations in every part of West Bengal. Every old temple has its annual day when pilgrims gather there and inevitably a fair of big or small size comes up around it.
The solemnity of Muharram is best experienced by following an "Ashoura" procession in the city. Led by a snow-white horse, the procession of tazias and the devout wends its way through areas such as
Metiabruz and Khiderpore.