So there’s just a few days left till Eid ul Adha comes round, is the excitement building up for you yet?
I never knew there were two Eids at first. Eid ul Fitr I knew of but what was this other pop-up celebration why had it been passing me by? Obviously I grew up and learnt about Hajj and the day of sacrifice but still it didn’t explain why our celebration of it was any less, especially as it was culturally nicknamed Big Eid and was supposed to last three days! Like most things my parents told me, I’d accepted it except now Big Miss is asking me the same questions.
For a couple of years now we’ve been making a bigger effort for Eid ul Fitr, since Big Miss had started to learn about fasting and Ramadhan came round. She loved the entire spirit of the month, all the family kids had an amazing time on Eid and when they figured out there was a second Eid on the way in a couple of months they were ecstatic that they’d have the same wonderful celebration again! Since then it’s prompted me to rethink Eid ul Adha and how we’re going to celebrate it.
“When they figured out there was a second Eid on the way in a couple of months they were ecstatic that they’d have the same wonderful celebration again!”
I posted a link to an article a few days back explaining why we should take the start of Dhul Hijjah seriously. It’s a simple and great read highlighting the importance of the ten days. Big Miss understands it all now too so with all the facts learnt and feeling inspired, we’re planning to Bring Back Big Eid. It’s called ‘Big’ for a reason you know! Read on for our top tips!
Ten Ways to Bring Back Big Eid
1. Know the date
Make the kids aware of the Islamic date. During Ramadhan everyone has a calendar up so it’s easy for them to countdown to Eid. If you didn’t get a Hajj Calendar craft kit you can still grab one from our lovely stockist Anafiya. Or keep it simple with some post it notes on the fridge.
2. Make a plan
Have a plan for the remaining days to do some specific Hajj and Eid related activities, keeping it relevant for your kids’ ages and interests. Crafts are always a big hit with the girls, making or writing Eid cards will keep them occupied for a good afternoon. and perhaps get boys involved with making Lego models of the Kaaba, or practising wearing an Ihram. Don’t forget to include your usual activities and work out what time you really have spare to keep it realistic.
Fast if you can on the 9th (if you’re doing all 9 that’s great!) and encourage older kids to do so too. If they’re younger, set a length of time for a mini fast; three, four, five hours, whatever you think they can handle. Try to focus the day of Arafah on praying to Allah and repenting. Have a family iftar like you did in Ramadhan. Don’t forget the samosas!
Talk about the story of Prophet of Ibrahim as and Prophet Ismail as, and what sacrifice means. Ask them to give up their favourite game or activity until after Eid so they can experience what it feels like to give something up.
5. Live coverage
We’re so lucky that Hajj is broadcast live all over the world. There are numerous Sky channels and even websites covering Hajj in various languages, so find one that you can understand and watch it even if just for a few minutes a day. Islam Channel is a good place to start. Seeing is believing and it will make it Hajj easier to visualise for anyone who hasn't yet been.
Seeing as it’s only been a couple of months since the last one, I’m all out of ideas for presents. Some of our family down south have started a Secret Maulana (aka Secret Santa!) which I think is a great idea. Set a budget and if you can, set all the presents up at an agreed place as and when they have been bought and wrapped. The pile building up will ramp up the hype for sure! This article from Huffington Post explain the rules well and has some good tips here.
Put up the same decor (if not more) than you had for Eid ul Fitr. I still haven’t taken my foil EID balloons down, they’ve lasted amazingly well despite Baby 'helping' out! Ours looked so cool I’m going to add HAPPY at the start of them this time. They’re very easy to find on eBay, and no need for helium with these! Just blow them up gently through a straw and they’ll last well in sha Allah.
8. What to wear?
Outfits always end up being the last thing I sort out before Eid ul Fitr. Often ironing them all in the middle of the night before. This time I’m going to iron them all and hang them up a couple of days early. Letting the kids try them on a few days early and then see them hanging up is also a visual reminder of the festivities coming up. Which girl doesn’t get excited about wearing a sparkly new outfit?! And I'm not missing out on mehndhi this time. I'm booked in with the Fairy on Wednesday night!
9. What's on the menu?
Spread the cooking out and see what you can prep a couple of days earlier. Eid ul Adha has a plus point that we know exactly when it is going to be once the month has started! The girls and I are planning on making more of those yummy biscuits we gave out at the start of Ramadhan. I bought some Islamic shape cookie cutters from Silver Lining, so in sha Allah we’ll have mosque and minaret shapes this time too!
10. Celebrate, celebrate, celebrate!
For this year and the next four or five to come, Eid ul Adha will fall in school holidays so we have the opportunity to make it a longer celebration. Pace yourself though! The main day is usually reserved for families right? How about arranging a play date on the second day so the kids can share Eid with their friends? The third day could be a family trip out, maybe a local Eid fair or your favourite family activity.
Sound like a plan? Great! Now go Bring Back Big Eid! Have a happy one in sha Allah x