Chand Raat in California - A Colorful & Fun-filled Event
By Ras H. Siddiqui

The night before Eid fell on June 24th this year as Sacramento, California finally recovered from a record week of heat when triple digit temperatures raged on. Thankfully, things cooled off on this very same night as close to a thousand people made it to the parking lot of the Haveli Restaurant in Sacramento, which became a mini reflection of a Chand Raat (the night of the Eid moon sighting) in Lahore, Faisalabad or even Karachi, Pakistan.
And here women were thankfully in the lead (except for food sales) as fashions, jewelry and Mehndi (Henna designs) ruled the evening to the delight of many.
There was light Iftari offered for free and plenty of Chaat, Gol Guppas, Somosa-Choley and a whole lot more for sale including Paans (betel leaves) plus the restaurant interior offered a running buffet.
Haveli is reflective of Punjabi cuisine and now joins a list of restaurants which have held such large community events before such as Shaz (now closed), Spice of Life, The Palace, Eden Gardens and our friend Farrukh Hashmi who held an event a day earlier at Armaans. The bottom line is that Chand Raat is one of the most festive and colorful evenings in Pakistan and many parts of South Asia (some Indians and Bangladeshis joined us here too) and it is such events that resonate with our American-born next generation. So let us keep this tradition alive and give the young people a chance to have some fun!
A great deal of activity was incorporated into the evening with some really interesting competitions held for prizes. These included water drinking, quiz questions and what has to be a first - a Shalwar threading and wearing competition for newly-wed couples. But the religious aspect of the end of Ramadan was not ignored either. And to experience it all you just had to be there. Eid Mubarak from Sacramento, California.



Editor: Akhtar M. Faruqui
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