Ramadan, the month in which one fasts from sunrise to sunset, started last month for my family as well as other Muslims around the world. Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Muslim faith and in about three weeks it will end with Eid Al-Fitr.
These past weeks, my social media feed has been full of Ramadan decoration ideas and kids activities. There is a book available titled Ramadan Around The World by Ndaa Hassan. This book inspired me to ask some of my friends I met through Instagram to share how they celebrate Eid al-Fitr around the world. Many of these families are multilingual and/or multicultural.
A Belgian Egyptian Family in Egypt
The best part of Eid here in Egypt is definitely the Eid prayer! It’s held pretty early, around 6 am, so we need to get up really early to be able to catch it. But there’s something absolutely magical about walking to the mosque at 5.30 am, chanting takbeer, with hundreds of other people, everyone looking their best! It’s something I wouldn’t want to miss! Because of the huge amount of people attending, the prayer is often held in the middle of the street. Whole streets are blocked off and filled with literally thousands of people! There’s something really special about standing in prayer with so many people in the open air… When the prayer is over, there are a lot of balloon vendors and street vendors selling party hats and we usually buy some for the kids.
We then head back home and usually we are pretty tired still, so we might try to catch some rest or take a nap, the kids usually crash on the couch. Later in the morning we will eat a big breakfast together as a family. This has sort of become a tradition of us over the years: during Ramadan we haven’t been able to have breakfast together in the mornings and so we have a big brunch with all of our family favorites on Eid morning. And there’s definitely ‘kahk’ on the table, this is Egypt’s traditional Eid cookie. We give the kids their presents and eat, play and relax!
In the afternoon we usually visit family members. My mother-in-law will have made her own stash of kahk and ‘petit-fours’ which she’ll have spend hours baking the day before Eid. There’s (always) lot’s of food! People here usually give money to kids on the day of Eid, so the kids will have received some from their uncles and aunt. (To buy more presents!
The rest of the day is usually spent eating good food in good company.
We try not to go elsewhere during Eid, because malls and parks tend to be REALLY crowded at this time.
A British Pakistani Family living in Saudi Arabia
We live in Saudi Arabia but travel back to England for Eid. The night before Eid I draw mendhi patterns on the girls and their cousins which they really love. On Eid day we usually begin by going for Eid Prayers in the Park. It’s lovely to see the whole community come together for this! We then spend half the Eid day at my parents home in London where we share presents with their cousins, have party games and a delicious Eid lunch. We then usually take all the children to the local park.
In the evening we come back to our home and enjoy our own party games with the rest of the family. Sometimes we go to the local Eid in the Park Funfair which the girls love or we go to choose Eid presents from the local Toy Shop! All in all Eid is a fabulous time spent with family. We have spent some Eid days in the Middle East without the family and its never the same! We usually take the girls out after Eid day or have our mini holiday booked to enjoy some family time together!
A Polish Morrocan Family in England
Me and my husband come from different countries and cultures. He is used to celebrating Eid all his life, me only for 14 years. Having two children far away from any relatives has made us realize how important having our own family tradition is. Living in foreign country means our friends become our family, so on Eid day after the prayer, we invite all our friends to celebrate with us.
But before having a picnic with some traditional dishes and cake, we try to introduce our children to Sunnah of Eid day. We start day with ghusl, dress our new traditional Moroccan outfits, have an odd number of dates and say takbeer on way to masjid. On the way back from mosque we always visit our favourite local coffee shop, where we have long missed coffee. We really enjoy that part before guests will come and children will open their Eid presents.
I tend to buy only Islam-related presents on Eid, in order to make the whole day just about deen(religion). Throughout the evening of Eid we often talk to family back in Morocco.
An Egyptian / Russian / British Family in Saudia Arabia
We are planning to pray our Eid Prayer in the Haram / Mecca. This will be our first Eid prayer in Mecca, we are so excited. After that, we will return home by taking a different route, as this is a Sunnah of our Prophet (peace be upon him). My sister and I would have already prepared the house for the Eid Party, so as soon as we return from the Eid Prayer we will commence our first party and gift distributions to our daughters and the rest of the family.
In the afternoon we will join a group of expat families in Jeddah for another Community Eid Party. It will have bouncy castles, swimming pools, playground and plenty of food.
The second day of Eid, the plan is to travel to Al Baha, which is about 2 hours away from us. It’s a small little time located in the Southern mountains of Saudi Arabia. It’s cool, raining and has plenty of vegetation, perfect for a local holiday getaway, we need those things in Saudi Arabia.
Both Eids are very important in our family, as we come from the West. We need to distinguish our Muslim celebrations from other religious festivals, hence awesome parties, plenty of gifts and a mini holiday is a must.
Previous Eid al-Fitr stories around the world can be found here.
If you are celebrating Ramadan and Eid let us know how you celebrate and where you live in the comments below!
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