Chand Raat in the city of lights

Published: August 30, 2011

Women shop for bangles and Mehndi on chand raat PHOTO: EXPRESS

In Karachi, chand raat is one of those nights that you just do not want to miss. The city of lights turns in to the most joyous, bustling and happy cities. From Zamzama to Nazimabad, shopping centers are inundated with excited families, all preparing for Eid.

In fact, Karachites are so adamant on celebrating Eid in their typical fashion, that they do not let anything get in their way. I remember a couple of days ago when about 15 people were killed here. Despite this, the city was bursting with life and shopaholic women.

When it comes to shopping in the auspicious month of Ramazan chand raat is indeed the most thrilling time to go shopping. This delightful night is a night of wonders for most women and a night of trouble to most men. Something about chand raat truly awakens the spirit of shopping (or window shopping) in the most unwilling of shoppers. It is indeed, a blissful night that provides many blisters to one’s feet.

We are all glued to our TV sets soon as our favorite chand announcing moulvi appears, and we anxiously hang on to his every word. Everyone wants Eid to come fast; it’s what we all fast for. It’s our pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. So without digressing further lets come back to chand and the raat associated with it. As soon as the fact is well established that it is indeed chand raat, people of all ages, races, gender and sizes rush to the streets to witness this chand themselves.

It is a magical time.

Now this chand holds different meanings to different people. For the sleazy bystanders, the sight of the chand portrays an opportunity for them to ogle at every maiden in her 20s; for hopeless romantics it means getting to see, or spend time with loved ones; for impatient fathers and husbands it means traffic and crowds that make them claustrophobic and finally, for some  women chand raat is synonymous with shopping till they drop.

These ladies save all their zeal and verve for the last minute. The twilight of the Eid ka chand can really transform the meekest of women into maniac shopaholics. Also if you are women and you don’t get your hands laden with mendhi in the late hours of the night for the much awaited and auspicious occasion, than you probably aren’t living in Karachi. Getting mendhi and choorian on chand raat is a strongly upheld tradition, and most women obediently adhere it. Various food outlets and thaila walas are also open during the long hours of the night to please the gluttonous ones amongst us.

So if you want to see the city of lights in full swings and enjoy the festivities then just head out on chand raat and make it an enjoyable night for yourselves and others. If you haven’t seen Karachi on chand raat, you are truly missing out on one of the wonders of life.

Chand Mubarak everyone!


Nava Asad

A medical student based in Karachi who likes adventure..

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • http://www, Ovais

    i just came back from clifton and zamzama and was disappointed at the lack of traffic there, something which i would have loved at a normal day. It worries me the ordeal the Pakistani has to go through with so many problems wide spread. We have started to fail in celebrating our culture, one day to be celebrated by God . Hopefully things would have been better by now and i imagine someone cursing at the car ahead or his luck for shopping on chand raat.Recommend

  • Shoaib

    Thank God, i dont live in Karachi! Recommend

  • Shahrukh Kazmi

    My Eternal long lasting love, Karachi!Recommend

  • A R

    lol chill owais i JUST came back from zamzama and clifton and it was extremely busy, as if it were chaand raath or something :P all is well in Karachi–had a great time on chand raath!Recommend

  • Honey

    Nice article. I like itRecommend

  • Huma


    oh ..then poor u Mr Shoaib!! u dont live in Karachi.. :pRecommend

  • ravaba

    yeah its wonderfull….chand raat mubarakRecommend

  • Yasserr

    Karachi at it’s best on chand raat =)Recommend

  • MilesToGo

    “Chand” and “Raat” both are derived from a Sanskrit words. Whats the correct Arabic word?Recommend

  • freelife

    good one, its always nice to know how they celebrated eid……………..Living thousands miles away, its a good dose of chand raat. I used to live in Lahore and loved going to LIberty for shopping………miss those days.Recommend

  • http://Australia Naeem Siddiqui


    Why you need an arabic word? are you an arab ??/Recommend

  • Balma

    Miles to Go,
    Curiousity killed the cat.
    To answer your curiousity, it would be laila-tul-qamar:-)

    I am waiting for Allah-Hafiz crowd to start using this term instead of the good old term ‘chaand raat’:-)Recommend

  • Khalid Masood

    I love Karachi as I lived there for many years.

    But I feel much more safe in Lahore.Recommend

  • A.

    “Everyone wants Eid to come fast; it’s what we all fast for.”

    I STRONGLY disagree :P if that’s all YOU fast for, don’t say ‘everyone’. the point of fasting is to feel teh struggle of the poor and to bring ourselves closer to Allah. don’t go distorting that. and even if that’s not what you think or how you feel, don’t say ‘eid’s all everyone fasts in ramadan for’. it defeats the purpose of ramadan. that’s all.

    other than that, good article. i love karachi <3Recommend

  • A.

    ps @Naeem Siddiqui: LOL it was just a question. general knowledge, anyone?Recommend

  • Ali Tanoli

    In farsi its gonna be qamar night asth hahahahah.Recommend

  • Balma

    Tanoli, in Farsi it would be ‘shub-e-maahtaab”.
    Besides, neither Arabs nor Persian would know what the heck chaand raat culturally means for desis, so let’s stick to the desi version ‘chaand raat’. This also gives us the opportunity to fight if it is Urdu or Hindi. Let’s get started!Recommend