ISLAMABAD, Apr 24 (APP): Tired of online buying and restrictions due to COVID-19 during the last two years, shopping on this Eid-ul-Fitr is far more jubilant for the buyers with thousands thronging the markets and malls of twin cities.

The vibrant hues of bangles, aromatic henna, and the spectacular designs of attires and footwear have completely occupied the markets alluring women and children with a few days left in the grand festival.

Although they start visiting markets off and on right from mid of Ramzan, during the last Ashra of Ramazan, Eid shopping picks up the pace with malls and markets of Rawalpindi and Islamabad flooding with a large number of shoppers.

This time, shopping also provides a different feeling as most of the buyers in the past had to depend on online buying due to COVID-19. But, the buyers who had shifted their mode of shopping from physical to digital to keep themselves safe from the pandemic during the last two to three years were now reverting to physical shopping since the threat of COVID-19 is over.

Like every year, women and children seem to be more enthusiastic about Eid shopping without paying any heed on their budgetary limitations while the men are behaving realistically fearing extravagance in the prevailing price hike situation.

“Nothing can dampen the shopping spirit of women, especially for Eid-ul-Fitr either it is COVID or inflation. Whatever circumstances are, we have to manage to buy all Eid stuff for ourselves and our families to celebrate this festival to the fullest”, Shaheena Imran, a housewife said.
“It was a requirement of the time to opt for digital shopping during the pandemic but now we can freely visit the markets to choose the best after surveying. The real joy of shopping can be felt only through visiting the markets physically”, she observed.
It has been observed that different popular brands dealing with garments and footwear have started offering Ramzan discounts to provide an opportunity to the shoppers to buy such stuff at low prices.

“The kid’s brands from where I use to buy clothes for my children are offering 20 percent discount and it is not less than any blessing in prevailing price hike situation. Some brands are even selling good stuff at the lesser rates as compared to the local shops in the markets”, Arshad Khan, a government employee said.

“Digitalization has made it easier for the consumers like me to select the products of their choice first through the brand’s official websites before visiting the market which ultimately saves our time and energy”, he said.

Among all the attractions of the Eid-ul-Fitr, bangles and henna are the most wanted items during the last Ashra of Ramzan by young girls and women. These stalls, loaded with traditional and latest varieties of bangles and henna, can be found in abundance almost at every market or mall.

Beautifully carved bangles add charm and color to Eid shopping which is an essential item of their shopping lists, especially for women and teenagers, and minor girls. “I cannot imagine celebrating Eid without bangles. Earlier we all family members used to visit markets for buying bangles and henna on Chand Raat but now we buy a little earlier due to overcrowded markets”.

The majority of twin cities’ residents throng the markets during the early days of Ramazan to complete their respective shopping as they have to leave for their native towns a few days prior to the main event. This is a community that still enjoys the relics of celebrating Eid in native cities, towns, and villages where their dear ones wait for them and their Eid gifts.

None of the other feelings can match the jubilation of reuniting with families on the august occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr after months-long service provided in remote cities with the sole motive of earning money to feed their kith and kin.

Eid shopping is not just restricted to dresses, footwear, and other wearing accessories but it also extends to edibles and it is our old tradition to gift sweets, cakes, and vermicelli to relatives and friends on this occasion.

It is also a source of earning living and profits for shopkeepers associated with this business and they plan special products on Eid to attract maximum buyers.

“Eid-ul-Fitr provides us an opportunity to earn some good profits. People buy sweets, cakes and other bakery items and especially vermicelli,” a sweet seller at one of the prominent shops at Murree Road said.

“We expect good sales on this Eid. There is no COVID threat and restrictions on gatherings. And you know, when friends and families get together, it cannot happen without exchanging sweets and bakery items,” he said.

Mostly people use to go to markets after Iftar, but if there is any promotion of a brand or discount, then neither fasting nor scorching heat can stop the shopping mongers especially women.

For some, it is thrill or enjoyment, for some it is necessity or compulsion – no doubt shopping is source of amusement and fulfillment of basic requirement. Roaming around the markets and sometimes just for window shopping also gives a unique pleasure to market visitors.

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