Sunday, 28 July 2013

(How) Do you celebrate EID?

The count down to Christmas each year seems to start months in advance. Trees get chopped down, decorations go up around in people's homes, in stores, in businesses, in the street, online even. Cards are prepared and posted, stockings and presents planned, purchased and wrapped, Christmas cake baked, wrapped and fed every few days, mince pies baked, Christmas special of Downton Abbey filmed (!), teachers plan and children take part in Christmas themed lessons at school, letters get written to Santa and fake beards and red suits are sold around the country...!

These are all the things I grew up with, even though I didn't really partake in the celebrations personally, except for a little bit when I was young due to having Christian family members, I was still caught up in the 'magic' of Christmas, seeing all the pretty lights and counting the trees in people's windows whenever we were out in the car. 

Alhamdulillah I also have some nice memories of Eid, mainly from when I was little and my parents helped me in making it exciting. Decorating my house, giving presents, wearing new clothes, making sweet bags for my non muslim friends at school, going to the mosque for Eid prayers.... but living in the UK in a non-muslim community I've also spent Eid at work, at Uni, at School, or even when I've had time off and been to the mosque for Eid prayers I've come home to a boring undecorated house, not received or given any gifts and gone out for dinner with my family to a restaurant or the cinema... nothing very special considering that's the only thing we usually do when we go out! (well, not much choice around here apart from pubs and clubs, even tried bowling a few months ago but it felt like being in a night club!).

Alhamdulillah last Christmas Eve (!) I was blessed with a beautiful baby son and in less than 2 weeks it will be his very first Eid inshaAllah. So that got me thinking, how do I want him to experience Eid? As a mixed race English/Indian with an American Puerto Rican husband we don't really have any strong cultural traditions when it comes to Eid, so we're going to think of our own inshaAllah. I personally love Christmas cake so maybe I should make my own Eid version! Other than that I'm thinking blueberry and chocolate chip pancakes for breakfast (my favourite!), Eid prayers of course, gifts (all or part of which must be hand made) and new clothes. But that's where I get stuck, after the Eid prayers and breakfast and gifts we don't seem to have much else to do for the rest of the day. 

So what do YOU do to celebrate Eid? Is it a big event in your family, do you take a day off work to celebrate? Maybe you can give me some ideas!