Shab-E-Barat is the Muslim festival of lights. Celebrations are carried out thoughout the night, and it is customery to stay awake the whole night of the festival. Houses are cleaned and decorated with chains of lights and candles. The mood is very festive and the clusters of decorated houses look beautiful in the shimmering lights.
Fireworks abound this time, and people burn fireworks relentlessly all through the night. It is done as a salute to God, as it is believed that God write the destiny of all living beings for the coming year. The colorful skies are a spectacle to behold on this night.
The festive spirit also extends to cullinery delights. Sweets, especially the traditional Simai or vermicelli is in the must prepare list of every household. It is sent to all friends. Frequently, feasts are also organized for eating together. It is also the time for charity, and clothes, foods and other commodities of daily use are given to the poor and needy. The deceased ancestors are also remembered at this time. Their graves are adorned with flowers at this time.
The time is also for prayers. Blessings are recited at the time of meals in the name of the Prophet, his daughter Fatima and her husband Ali. Some pious Muslims pray throughout the night, as it is believed that if you pray for the whole night asking for forgiveness for the sins committed during the year, you may be forgiven. One also asks for the good fortune for the upcoming year. Some also fast during the day. Quite a few opt for the Nafal, or the optional evening prayer.
Please note that this festival is not accepted by all muslims, and many restrain themselves from celebrating it. This is because there is no mention of this event in the Holy Quran. But Sura Dukhan does mentions about Laila Mubaraka, which according to learned scholars, is, Shab-E-Barat.