The word 'Eid' simply means "festival" or "feast" in Arabic.
What's so great about Eid is that there isn’t just one, but two different celebrations each year - Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha and these two official dates fall within the Islamic lunar calendar.
Unlike the widely acknowledged Gregorian calendar that’s based around the 365 days of the sun, it follows the moon and for this reason, these days fall on different dates each year. This is traditionally recognised by when the Hilal or the crescent moon is sighted. Whilst both dates are celebrations, each one
recognises two different events that form part of the story of Islam.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan - a month-long fast - and is about the giving of food to the less fortunate. It lasts for approximately three days and in this time certain rituals such as wearing new clothing. and performing Eid Salah in the mosque. Eid al-Adha follows similar traditions, however, is preceded by the annual pilgrimage of the Haji and celebrates the Prophet Ibrahim's devotion to Allah.
What unites both is the sense of charity and the notion of celebrating with family and friends.
@meandlucas talk us through their unique traditions and how they spend Eid as a family at home in Birmingham, UK
Describe in your own words Eid, and what it means to you and your family.
Eid is such a special time for me and my family. It's a day filled with so much love, laughter and joyful moments of togetherness, and of course it's such a beautiful way to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Tell us about some popular traditions. Do your family have any of their own traditions and / or unique ways to celebrate?
Every year my older sister hosts Eid for the whole family, so we normally go to her house but since we haven't been able to do that, we have a family FaceTime group and wish each other Eid Mubarak that way! We also made our own family traditions at home and adapted to the times! I try and make it a fun and enjoyable experience for the kids, so on the morning of Eid, I make our favourite special breakfast which is pancakes served with syrup and lots of yummy fruit toppings. Then the children get to open their Eid gifts afterwards.
How do you dress Lucas and Sienna for the occasion?
Choosing their Eid outfits is one of my favourite things to do! As much as I want them to look stylish and cool, my main priority is to make sure that their outfits are not only long-lasting, but also comfortable and allow them both to have fun and move freely. Comfort is key for sure!
For further inspiration on how to dress little girls for Eid, read our feature Outfits for Eid with @asha_lina.
What do you do in the days leading up to Eid to prepare for the event?
In the days leading up to Eid, we completely declutter, organize and clean our home, from top to bottom. A few days before we do a food shop, to stock up on the ingredients we need for our family meal, and other treats we wish to have. We usually get our Henna done (It would've been Sienna's first time ever, eeek!) but since we're in a pandemic we’ll instead enjoy a nice family movie night instead and eat our favourite, healthy festive snacks. I also give the children a very important, and special job, which is choosing a present for their cousins (within budget, of course!) Sienna is still a little bit too young to understand, but Lucas is always such a great help when it comes to choosing the perfect Eid present for them all.
Do you involve your children in your preparations? Are there specific things they can help with?
Yes, I always make sure to involve the children in anything they can help with. My children love arts and crafts, and since we are spending so much more time at home it’s become the perfect afternoon pastime. This Eid, they will both make their own Eid decorations to hang up on the wall, and it’s definitely a fun activity that will keep them quiet and busy for a little while too!
What foods do you cook? Do you use traditional family recipes?
I definitely use traditional and healthy family recipes that have been passed down to me by my Mum and sisters. I try not to make too much on the day as we’ll be celebrating as one household, and I don't like wasting food. For our main Eid meal, I’ll make a vegan spinach and potato curry served with rice and Somali flatbread. It's so simple, delicious, and very easy to make.
All images by @meandlucas
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