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! 


  1. Salam sis,

    Try spending it with the whole family. Go visit family homes, and then friends. Pop over for 10-20mins wish them a good eid, take them some cake or sweets.
    We spend Eid that way, from a Moroccan background, all families spend the night before preparing nice food, putting henna on, and the day of Eid is dressing up going for Eid prayer, coming home and having a nice big breakfast, then off to visit family, grandparents, aunties, uncles and in the evening having a meal with all the family. We used to buy crackers, and decorate the house.

    But If you find you have nothing to do after salaht al eid, why not make tea, and cake and invite some sisters over, or go pop by friends and relatives and take them some cake?
    I really like what London do, the 1Eid project having Eid in the park, with a funfair, stalls and then fireworks. In Sha Allah I will be going this Eid. Portsmouth should try do Eid on the Common and then organize stalls and the funfair is close by on the pier.

  2. wa salam thanks for the comment (amazing I actually got a comment!! :), the problem with spending it with family is that my sister is working all day, my husband is in Spain and my dad tends to spend time at the mosque/visiting his friends. I'll have Isa and my mum though so we plan to so something together inshaAllah thought having a 7 month old limits what we can do slightly.

    After Eid prayers I plan to have a nice breakfast and I want to try and phone my sponsored child in Gaza so wish him and his family Eid Mubarak. It will be the first time I've spoken to him. The problem is my Arabic is so bad I'm not sure how it's going to work....

    Anyway, apart from that iA Isa will be wearing a new outfit and we will have a Skype chat with his Papi in Madrid; we will visit friends, but I'm not sure what else yet. We plan to do something with my sister on the weekend when she's not working but I want to make Eid day special too.

    how come you don't decorate the house any more?

    You're right the community should do some type of Eid party/festival together like they do in London, maybe I should start planning for next year! When I was in Bristol I helped organise a big Eid party with stalls, nasheed artists etc, everyone dressed up and apart from being accosted by a dodgy asian guy (on Eid, really???) it was great!