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No-Mad India

Eid Greeting Cards ~ A lost tradition!

Salutation of a young girl to her elder sister. Eid card printed by Eastern Commercial Agency, Bombay. From the Priya Paul Collection, New Delhi.

Eid-Ul-Fitr celebrations come in a multitude of unique forms in our society. As the month of Ramazan approaches its last leg, markets all across the country are glittered with Eid paraphernalia: confectionery, clothes, bangles, mehendi – all typical associations with this festive occasion.

However, one particular trend has dwindled over the years: the practice of sending out Eid cards.  It was once a routine for most families to spend time appropriately selecting, purchasing, writing and posting Eid greeting cards to friends and families. But now, it has become a rarity. In this era of mobile and social media connectivity, where handwritten letters have lost their utility, it might be interesting to revisit the trend of Eid cards, particularly in its early days, when the practice was first introduced to our region.

Eid cards with Indian-specific images and illustrations began being produced in the early years of the 20th century. Hafiz Qammaruddin & Sons, H. Ghulam Muhammad & Sons and Muhammad Hussain & Brothers in Lahore, Mahboob Al Matabah in Delhi and Eastern Commercial Agency Shabbar T Corporation and Bolton Fine Art Lithographers in Bombay were amongst the earliest companies that came into the business of printing Eid cards in India. Although the postcards with Indian Muslim architecture, produced by Raphael Tuck in London were also used for Eid.

The tradition of Eid cards remained at its peak till the end of the previous century, and diminished with the surge of mobile and online communication. Obviously, technology had made it more affordable, convenient and maybe even attractive for people to share their greetings. Yet, those of us who have lived the joy of handpicking, writing, sending and receiving Eid cards cannot find its substitute in the click of buttons.

We at No-Mad, are sensitive to this tradition…..A lost rare art , but hopefully revived as we dig deeper into ancient wisdom and practices,  to stay connected and truly feel at home in these pandemic times.


A floral Eid card. Published by Hafiz Qamruddin & Sons, Lahore and posted from Lahore on 24 December 1935. From the Priya Paul Collection, New Delhi.



Eid greetings stamped on an image printed in Europe. Basically it was European-made Christmas cards which were modified and used as Eid cards. From the Priya Paul Collection, New Delhi.


Eid card distributed by Hafiz Qamruddin & Sons, Lahore. From the Priya Paul Collection, New Delhi.


Text  Reproduced from : Aown Ali for Dawn. ( You can read the original article HERE )
Aown Ali is a Lahore based photojournalist, particularly interested in documenting architecture worth historic significant.
(See his work HERE )

All Photos : Priya Paul Collection/Tasveer Ghar/Heidicon ( You can view the entire collection HERE)

Shop our Collection of handmade Stationery HERE

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