Eid comes from the Arabic root words ع ي د (Ayn-Ya-Dal) which means ever-occurring, periodical, festival, to come back, revert, return, etc. since this day returns each year.
If you don’t celebrate any other day apart from Eid, then making Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha best days of the year is an easier job alhamdulillah. But if you celebrate other days too and your kids might be exposed to all the mainstream holidays and birthdays etc., you may wonder how to make Eid exciting and fun when most people aren’t even off from their work – especially in the non-Muslim countries where no one is celebrating Eid except Muslims. Even in the Muslim countries, you may have heard people cracking a joke – Eid is for sleeping…Most people in my generation say that the day of Eid is about “sleeping” (in a boring way). And I REALLY hope that our kids don’t say stuff like that because Eid is the days of joy. And they come every year as a reminder that we made it through the blessed days with gratitude, patience, and barakah. These holidays, from a religious and a social aspect, are not only a means for Muslims to come together they also provide a means to help alleviate the needs of the poor. In order to provide social solidarity, those who are financially able to give an amount of money in charity for every member of the family during the ‘Eid ul Fitr (known as fitra/zakat ul Fitr ); during the ‘Eid al Adha, they are commanded to sacrifice from livestock (known as Udhiyah in Arabic); adult cattle such as – camels, cows/bulls, buffaloes, bison (bovine), sheep (ovine), goats (caprine), ram, and the like.
1) Prepare for Eid before Ramadan / Dhul Hajj
Making kids part of planning helps them understand the meaning and importance of the event they are planning for. Planning with them also brings up more imaginative ideas. Plan the day, plan the gifts, plan the activities that bring them joy.
Start packing gifts for everyone with them. Prepare for all of it in advance so you are not running on the day of Eid or in the last ten blessed days of Ramadan. Here is a FREE pre-Ramadan checklist along with an Eid checklist for you. Go ahead and print it or fill it digitally.
2) Let the excitement build throughout Ramadan / Dhul Hajj (Eid Decor)
Whether you get a countdown calendar that you fill up with activities, sweets, or toys, Ramadan baskets, or Eid baskets, let them know that this day is important to you. They will catch onto your excitement so they model that enthusiasm.
These emotions can only be transferred when we ourselves feel them, just like you can’t pour water from an empty vessel – similarly, you can’t simply pour the fountains of love and excitement without having a pond within yourself. Thus feel this gift of Allah and show gratitude emotionally, verbally, and physically.
3) Sight the new moon with children
Come outside underneath the open sky – whether on your rooftop or in the garden – to see the Eid moon on the last night of Ramadan. Perhaps get a telescope if your kids are space enthusiasts. Or just sit together as a family and eat your favorite snacks. When you see the new moon, you may recite this dua:
اللهم أهله علينا بالأمن والإيمان والسلامة والإسلام، ربي وربك الله، هلال رشد وخير
At the sight of the new moon (of the lunar month), the Prophet (ﷺ) used to supplicate: “Allahumma ahillahu ‘alaina bil-amni wal-iman, was-salamati wal-Islam, Rabbi wa Rabbuk-Allah, Hilalu rushdin wa khairin (O Allah, let this moon appear on us with security and Iman; with safety and Islam. (O moon!) Your Rubb and mine is Allah. May this moon be bringing guidance and good).” [At- Tirmidhi]
4) Let them wear their special Eid clothes and scent
It is recommended to take a bath before Eid prayer. But in case people in the house are large in number, then few can take a bath before Fajr as well. Let the kids put on it they love the most. In our home, scents are associated with salah Alhamdulillah. Indeed the best of things shall be associated with the best of deeds.
Have your children wear their best clothes on Eid morning. This is a great way to help them realize the importance of the day, and create a sense of excitement about the coming celebration. Choose clothes that aren’t only fancy and new, but also long-lasting so even if they roll in the sand – you know that the dress will survive (it will also help you resist constantly stopping them from having fun).
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) said: ‘This day is an ‘Eid (festival) which Allah has ordained for the Muslims. Whoever comes to Friday (prayer), let him take a bath and if he has perfume then let him put some on. And upon you (I urge to use) is the tooth stick.” [Ibn Majah]
5) Give them dates to eat in an odd number (bake Eid cake/cookies together)
Dates give kids that energy boost that they might be lacking so early in the morning. And hungry and tired kids equals a day spent whining ? So let them eat 1,3,5 or 7 dates – perhaps choose ajwa dates as they aren’t VERY sweet
6) Give them Eid gifts or Heidi (eid money) and let them give you Eid cards
Focus on what they like and what they constantly demand all year long, and then gift them that on Eid. It could be something tangible or an experience even. Eid could be made fun of through arts and crafts or Eid decor. Kids make the best and the most adorable cards ever that fill your heart with love. Let them make one every day of Ramadan or Dhul Hajj (10 days) if you have loads of relatives. Or you may print the cards for coloring and let them color in
7) Meet other people with children their age (host an eid party or attend one)
Whether you visit the grandparents or the kids get to meet their cousins and play all day – whether you visit friends whether people are gathering at your place or you’re going to someone else’s place, let them enjoy the social gatherings and interactions. Let them accept gifts and give gifts too. If you live far away from your family, then schedule video chats with them. Encourage silat alRahm (ties of kinship) with virtual meetings of all the families you miss!
The Messenger of Allah (ﷺ) also said: “They (the days of Eid) are days of eating and drinking,” [Nasai]