Festivals and shoppings are entertained together. One is not complete without the other. In a country like Bangladesh , where there are endless festivals throughout the year, fairs and shoppings celebrating the festivals are endless too.
Eid is the biggest religious festival of the country. Eid‑ul‑Fitr is followed by Eid‑ulAzha. Eid‑ul‑Fitr commences after a monthlong fasting during the month of Ramadan. Between these two festivals, Eid‑ul‑Fitr Is more festive and funfilled. Preparations to celebrate starts months back. To give the day an ultimate look of beauty and style, each gets busy in his or her own way.
Decades ago, it was only shopping centres like Gawsia, New Market, Chandni Chawk and Elephant Road‑ which constituted the main shopping belt. It was only these blocks of the city which offered the latest and newest fashion trends. These places would start getting crowded by shoppers from the beginning of Ramadan. The crowds would go on getting bigger and bigger as Eid neared.
In recent times the city has decked herself up with malls of all sizes and types. Almost every block in the city has a shopping mall, complete with garments, sarees and accessories stores. Among these, quite a few have earned a good name for their quality and quantity of goods. These malls are mainly concentrated in the heart of the city‑Dhanmondi. Here, there :fe old fashion houses like Aarong, Kay Kr , Bhushan, Anjan’s coupled with new malls like Metro Shopping Mall, ARA Centre, Prince Plaza, Rapa Plaza etc. The fashion houses sell only their line of products, which include garments and house decor. There are recent additions in this segment of shopping too‑ like Banglar Mela, Nagordola, Onnomela, Shada Kaalo who have already began to hit the popularity charts.
Up North, in the posh suburbs of Banani and Gulshan, these fashion houses have branched out, along with a number of new malls like Pink City , Navana Centre, Molly Capita Centre etc. Rd No. 11 at Banani can be easily termed as a shopper’s street. Both sides of the road are lined with boutiques like Saaj, Onnomela, Nagordola etc. Come Eid and this road would be the worst to cross, as the entire length will be blocked by an unthinkable traffic jam, people, cars and rickshaws would have wriggle through.
But even after all the heat and dust and the endless traffic ‑Eid shopping has its own charm and beauty, which is almost impossible to resist. As one Eid finishes, preparations for the next one, which is a year away, begins. As days close in, it gains momentum. It reaches the peak point on Chaan Raat, the night before Eid. People from all’corners of the city throng at their favourite malls and boutiques to do the last‑minute shopping. The last‑minute frenzy for a pair of trinkets or sandals or ribbons, the last‑minute desperation to match the bangles with sarees or salwar suits‑ is a sight to be seen and savoured.
The entire month of Ramadan sees the city malls getting more and more crowded each day, the traffic getting from bad to worse, more new products flooding the market and tempting the customers. To top it all there is the maddening crowd‑who gets more desperate each day. Finally, a lullAWs in on Eid Day which is the culmination months of endless preparations.