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Sami Rahman

An Eid to remember: Making it special for kids

Muslims around the world will mark the end of Ramadan by celebrating Eid al-Fitr [Getty]

Date of publication: 3 June, 2019

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As Eid approaches we look at ways to make the occasion more memorable for children.
Eid is almost here and the excitement at my home is palpable. Muslims around the world mark the end of Ramadan by celebrating Eid al-Fitr. I've bought presents, which are ready to wrap and adorn our fireplace on Eid morning, planned a scrumptious breakfast spread and organised lots of fun outings and activities for the day.

However, growing up this wasn't always the case. My earliest memories of Eid consisted of putting on my new clothes, eating a special breakfast as a family and then heading out to my grandmother's house where we would spend the entire day. It was nice and low-key.

Then, as everyone got older and busier, the number of guests at my grandmother's house began to dwindle. Annual leave was hard to acquire and exams meant days off were a thing of the past.

Nowadays, the lure of Christmas, with its abundance of toys and presents, sparkly decor and twinkly lights, can make Eid pale in comparison. This is why it's even more important to make Eid special for families and children.

Creating a strong Muslim identity for our children will help give them a sense of belonging and in turn boost their confidence and social skills.

Here are some ways to inspire your children to love Eid:

Decorate your home

Adorning your home in lights, decor and banners can easily incite feelings of excitement for young children. And you don't need to spend a fortune either. Pick a colour theme and hang some balloons and banners around the house. Add some extra magic by placing fairy lights near the window and mantelpiece. And if you're planning to buy gifts for family and friends then go the extra mile and wrap them up so that it adds to the excitement of giving and receiving presents.

You could even download printable Eid banners, which doubles up as a great craft activity for the children. Get them to draw Eid posters and frame it and blow some balloons up the night before to surprise them in the morning. 

Prepare a special meal

One of my favourite memories of Eid was the fabulous food we'd get to eat. Eid mornings would be spent devouring delicious homemade delicacies, followed by a big lunch and dessert.

On an average day my family are lucky if they get a hard boiled egg and cup of juice from me, but on Eid I like to go all out and put on a beautiful breakfast spread. This is a great way to mark the end of a month of fasting and missing breakfast. Try to prepare as much as you can the night before so you're not scrambling around in the kitchen at the crack of dawn.

Creating a strong Muslim identity for our children will help give them a sense of belonging [Getty]

Attend the Eid prayer

Attending the Eid prayer is a great way to introduce children to the wider Muslim community and will teach them that Eid isn't just about presents and food. Traditionally my sister and I would stay at home while my mum made Eid breakfast and my dad and brother attended the morning prayers. Although at the time this was through lack of women's facilities at the local mosque, it meant that I grew up with the mentality that women were meant to stay home and cook, while the men went to the mosque.

The true sunnah of Eid involves all family members attending the Eid prayer. This gives everyone the opportunity to socialise with the wider community, exchange pleasantries and give charity.

Throw them an Eid party

A party is a great way to get kids excited about Eid and allows them to involve their friends – Muslim and non-Muslim. This doesn't have to be a huge blowout party. It could be a small gathering at the house held on the week of Eid. Use the decoration you already have up, make a cake and put together some party bags.

More than just presents

Making Eid special for children isn't just about lights and presents, it's also about building a strong Muslim identity. At a time when Islamophobia and discrimination are rife, we can use our celebrations as an opportunity to engage and invite the community to learn more about Islam. That's why it's so important to teach children to embrace Eid and make it a celebration that they eagerly wait for every year.

Sami Rahman is a freelance writer based in London. 

Follow her on Twitter: @bysamirahman

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