“At Eid, everyone wanna go Forodhani”. The words of our guide rang in my ears as we surveyed the sea of joyful families and friends spilling out of the gardens and into the road along the seafront.
An Eid night celebration at Forodhani Gardens in Zanzibar is something to behold. Dazzling colours, peaceful crowds picnicing and everywhere food. So much food. From Zanzibar pizzas to fresh octopus skewers, kingfish to grilled corn on the cob, banana and nutella pancakes to sugarcane juice…let’s just say if you can make your ways through the crowds to the front of the queue, you’ll never go hungry.
I never knew Eid fashion was such a big thing, but it’s like a thousand weddings rolled into one, headscarves and jewelled abayas in every possible colour. Midnight blue edged with gold, deep pinks, turquoise… everyone is in their finest, freshest threads. The atmosphere is almost surreally peaceful and good-natured, no edge to it at all despite the huge crowds. It feels like a privilege to be here, joining in the celebration that marks the end of Ramadan. I forgot my camera but tonight it doesn’t matter; I know the sights and sounds will stay with me always.