Eid-ul-Fitr – Celebrations with family
Eid is a holy festival of Muslims, which is celebrated twice a year as Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting, while Eid-ul-Adha marks the end of Hajj, a holy pilgrimage to Mecca. There is a gap of around ten weeks in the celebrations of both the festivals. This year Eid-ul-Fitr falls on or around August 9,2013. Due to nature of calendar, the date of the festival may vary as per the location.
Eid-ul-Fitr is an Arabic word which is an amalgamation of Eid and Fitr, which means festivity and breaking of fast, respectively. The festival of Eid-ul-Fitr falls after the holy month of Ramadan in which Muslims keep fast. The day is celebrated on the first day in the month of Shawwal (tenth month of the lunar Islamic calendar) following Ramadan.
Ramadan is a month of religiousness, charity and blessings. People give charity to poor all throughout this month. A day before Eid, they donate actual food-rice, barley, dates, etc. to ensure that needy can have a meal on the day of Eid and celebrate the festival with family.
On the day of Eid, Muslims gather early in the morning in mosques to perform the Eid prayer. Before going to prayer, they eat something sweet especially a date fruit. The prayer consists of a sermon followed by a short congregational prayer. After prayers, people hug each other and greet ‘Eid Mubarak’. Later, they visit family and friends, share sweets and good wishes. Guests at home are offered ‘Meethi Sevayian’ and ‘Sharbat’. Eating outlets, shops, mosques and homes of Muslims are decorated beautifully.
Children enjoy wearing new clothes and they receive gifts & money from their elders as ‘Eidi’. Girls wear new bangles and apply henna on their hands. Activities like shopping, feasting, visiting places and sharing gifts make their day.
Kinship, spiritual devotion, peace, self-control, sense of generosity and gratitude marks the festivity of Eid.
How can you celebrate the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr with your children at home:
- Teach your children about the significance of the festival.
- Go for shopping with your children, a day before the festival. Buy sweets & gifts for relatives, friends and your children too.
- Involve your daughters in applying henna on hands, a night before Eid.
- Encourage them to decorate your home on this special occasion.
- Help them to make handmade greeting cards for their friends.
- On the day of Eid, instruct your children to get up early in the morning, take a bath and wear new traditional clothes.
- Ask them for their help you in preparing food for the festival. Involve them in cooking ‘Sevayian’.
- Visit to a mosque with them and give them something sweet to eat before you take them to the mosque for prayers.
- Tell them to hug their friends and greet ‘Happy Eid’ or ‘Eid Mubarak’ to all.
- Encourage them to share gifts with friends and invite them at their home for celebrations.
- Teach your children about the importance of charity and encourage them to donate food & clothing to the needy.
Whether you are Muslim or non-Muslim, invite your children’s friends on the day of Eid and celebrate this festival of brotherhood and happiness together to inculcate in them the true spirit of festival, regardless of caste and creed.