Noureen Design’s annual Chand Raat Eid Festival draws record crowds
June 29, 2017
Boston, MA: In an unprecedented step, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker declared June 24, 2017 as Chand Raat Eid Festival (night of the new moon) through a proclamation delivered at the hugely successful Chand Raat Eid Festival organized by Noureen Design at Crowne Plaza, Natick MA that evening.
Terming the event “a multi-cultural, multi-religious creative festival,” the proclamation (text below) acknowledges a Muslim festival that South Asians of all religions participate in with their Muslim friends and neighbors.
The sighting of the new moon on Chand Raat marks the end of the Muslim month of fasting (Ramadan, pronounced Ramzan in Urdu/Hindi). Noureen Design, a small family business that specializes in henna applications at weddings, festivals and other occasions, has been organizing a Chand Raat Eid Festival annually since 2012.
From the 200 people who attended the celebration the first year, the event has grown in popularity every year. The 6th Chand Raat Eid Festival this year drew over 2,200 people, making it New England’s biggest ever Chand Raat Eid Festival.
Guests at the annual festival have come to expect a stellar, individualized service from the Noureen Design team, which includes designer and artist Noureen Sultana, her husband Waheed Khan and their sons Danish, 14, and Mahid, 10. The male team members wore matching exquisitely embroidered waistcoats over their traditional outfits in honor of the special occasion.
Mouthwatering traditional delicacies served at the event included samosas, chicken tikka masala, naan, and biryani. Those waiting in the food line who were fasting appreciated the thoughtfulness of the team coming round when time came to open the fast (Iftar) offering dates (khajoor), valued for their nutritious high protein quality.
Crowds milling amidst the fragrance of Jasmine flowers especially imported from India for the event browsed a dazzling array of jewelry, clothing, and unstitched cloth sold by a host of vendors. Children thrilled to the face painting and balloon art, and as every year, women and girls lined up to get henna designs applied to their hands. This year’s henna stalls featured as many as seven artists, all trained by Noureen herself.
Guests also enjoyed the musical performance, crowding into a separate hall where Boston’s South Asian band Leher performed a range of Indian, Sufi, and world music.
Amit Dixit, executive director South Asian Arts and Cultural Council delivered the proclamation on behalf of the Governor.
Whereas Chand Raat Eid Festival is a multi-cultural, multi-religious creative festival celebrating the richness of Eastern Massachusetts’ arts, cultural, ethnic, religious and creative communities through mostly free events that are hands-on, interactive, and offer behind-the-scenes access to the creative process; and
Whereas Chand Raat Eid Festival has involved over 25 cultural organizations, artists and creative partners in various communities across Eastern Massachusetts, particularly the Greater Boston area since launching in 2017; and
Whereas Chand Raat Eid Festival is a unique community initiative of Noreen Design, bringing together individuals and groups across a range of religious, ethnic and geographical backgrounds in a unique event promoting a uniquely American vision of inclusion, diversity and pluralism; and
Whereas Chand Raat Eid Festival involves an impressive network of local, regional media partners, charitable and religious trusts coming together to support this event; and
Whereas Chand Raat Eid Festival upholds the spirit of entrepreneurship in America’s City of Firsts with a unique model providing a platform to small businesses from local communities with international linkages to showcase their products; and
Whereas Chand Raat Eid Festival plans to expand with more creative festivals bringing together communities from different religious, ethnic and geographical backgrounds; and
Whereas Chand Raat Eid Festival serves as an affordable and accessible inspiration for thousands of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds to uniquely explore and express their creativity and gain insights into multiple cultural heritages throughout Boston and beyond; and
Whereas Chand Raat Eid Festival is a new kind of “Creative Festival for All” that allows individuals to experience religious traditions, culture and art in new ways while showcasing the region’s artistic flare,
Now, Therefore, I, Charles D. Baker, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim June 24th-June 27th, 2017, to be,
Chand Raat Eid Festival
And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.
Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this Twenty Fourth Day of June, in the year two thousand and seventeen, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and forty-first.
By His Excellency
Charles D. Baker
Governor of the Commonwealth