Adopting new practices during Eid al Adha this year can help make celebrating under unusual circumstances enjoyable for you and your family.
Eid al Adha is one of the holiest Islamic holidays, celebrated annually by Muslims all around the world. Celebrating Eid al Adha this year will likely be different due to the coronavirus pandemic.
However, that does not mean we cannot create ways to make an unprecedented Eid special and exciting.
Also called “feast of the sacrifice,” Eid al Adha is a holy day where Muslims sacrifice an animal, usually a sheep. This is to commemorate Ibrahim’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ismael as an act of obedience to God. Later, God ultimately provides a lamb to sacrifice instead.
The celebrations of Eid al Adha last two to four days, depending on the country, community, or even families’ own rituals and traditions.
Usually the Eid days consist of rising early, eating sweets and pastries, performing prayers, conducting sheep sacrifice rituals, eating special Eid meals, and visiting friends and family.
Due to the global pandemic, some families in Morocco, where many lockdown measures are ongoing, will not get to celebrate this year’s Eid with extended family. That can hamper their Eid spirit, which is supposed to be joyous and festive.
However, traveling to visit family is not the only way to enjoy Eid al Adha. There are many other ways to make Eid this year fun and exciting and to stay connected with your friends and loved ones.
These are some ideas to keep your Eid joy alive and make your holiday a special break from the usual routine, even under today’s circumstances.
Eid al Adha is a major holiday in Islam, but it is also a very laborious one. Planning ahead can spare you valuable time that you can instead use to celebrate and fully enjoy the Eid spirit.
Usually, it is just the parents and older kids that handle all the Eid chores and preparations.
This year, try to include everyone in the household with chores, have them give their input, and ask them to share their suggestions for how they want this Eid to be.
You can have a meeting with your family where you assign each member, including young kids, a task that they’ll be responsible for during Eid.
Plan breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the first day, instead of dumping all chores and responsibilities on your mom.
It will be exceptionally difficult for young kids to celebrate Eid this year, without the excitement of playing outside with their friends and meeting their favorite cousins during family gatherings.
It is important to let them help and share their insights on what they would like to do.
Clean and decorate
Cleaning during and after the main Eid day is essential. However, cleaning before Eid is just as important. It helps you stay organized and makes completing other tasks way easier.
Do a deep house cleaning and rearrange the furniture for a change. You can also spray perfume or burn incense, oud, or bakhour if you so desire.
To create a great festive atmosphere, you can decorate your house with colorful signs, balloons, LED lights, and banners.
Eid themed decorations are available everywhere, but if you do not want to spend money you can make them yourself, all while encouraging the kids to be creative.
You can make this a family activity where everyone spends time with each other. Aside from creating banners, your family members can craft cute Eid cards for each other.
You can also put together a festive playlist with all the happy songs that you and your family enjoy. Play it in the background during your Eid activities and as you enjoy Eid meals.
During Eid al Adha people often don’t share gifts with each other, besides giving kids money for sweets and candy. You can make this year the start of a new tradition that will bring more joy and excitement to children and other family members.
You can choose who to give gifts to through a family activity or game after Eid prayers. Put all the family names in a box and each person pulls one out. Whoever picks a person’s name has to buy or make that person a gift.
Meanwhile, kids can make cute, meaningful Eid cards for their parents and each other.
Dress your best
This may seem a little challenging considering how everyone has been getting used to wearing pajamas during lockdown. Nonetheless, Eid would not feel special if you were wearing your usual sweatpants and oversized home-only shirt.
Amid this pandemic, many of us missed the chance to wear our traditional clothes for events and celebrations. Eid Al Adha can be the perfect opportunity to dust off your favorite caftan or djellaba for a formal and festive look.
It is not necessary to buy new clothes—you can look through your old clothes and even get creative by combining them differently to create a new look for the holiday.
For inspiration, you can make dressing fabulously an activity with friends and family. Take photos of your and your family’s outfits, share them with your loved ones, and have them do the same.
This virtual fashion show is sure to generate great memories, despite this year’s difficult circumstances.
Do good deeds
Eid al Adha is a holiday for worship and getting closer to God through prayers, spreading positive and loving energy, sacrificing a lamb, and doing good deeds.
As you select your special clothes, try to find items that you have outgrown and encourage the kids to do the same. If lockdown has already eased in your area, you can give them to charities directly or sell them and donate the money to a good cause or local mosque. If you are still under lockdown, you will be ready to donate them once you’re free to move about.
Without sharing lunch and dinner with your extended family, make your leftovers count. It can be a nice gesture to share your favorite dishes with your neighbors. You can also spread the joy and share with people who you know are celebrating alone.
Engage your family in fun Eid activities
There are many fun activities you can try this Eid al Adha. Cooking meals together is one way to keep everyone engaged in the Eid celebration. Try giving the children easy tasks like frosting and decorating cupcakes.
After Eid meals, you can also play games together. Try family favorites such as Scrabble, BINGO, and quizzes—any game that allows the whole family to participate will work. To make it even more fun, arrange prizes for the winners and make the loser do everyone’s least favorite chores.
Cinemas in Morocco are still closed due to lockdown, but you can set your own movie night at home. Rather than watching whatever happens to be available in theaters, the family can collectively decide on a favorite movie. Watch it together before bedtime while eating snacks like popcorn or dried fruit.
You can even invite your friends and family to movie night over Zoom or another video call app. Watch and enjoy your favorite movies together to keep the Eid spirit thriving.
Virtual Eid party
Eid al Adha is not the same without visiting and celebrating with extended family. However, being unable to see your family in person does not mean you cannot celebrate the holy day with them.
We live in a world run by technology, so look for the silver lining and connect to loved ones easily, even if they are across the world.
This year, stay connected with your friends and family by planning a video chat party. Take advantage of living in 2020 and set up a Zoom, WhatsApp, Google hangout, or Skype call. Once you’re set up, record it for memories!
In Morocco and other Muslim-majority countries, many girls like to paint their hands with henna tattoos before Eid. This year, girls can set up a virtual henna party.
They can create their own henna designs and apply them while chatting about Eid. When they’re finished tattooing, they can have fun sharing their henna patterns with each other.
Moroccans and Muslims all around the world await Eid Al Adha with enthusiastic anticipation all year long.
Trying out these new practices and activities can allow you to have a special Eid and keep everyone excited and spirited throughout the entire holiday.
Enjoy them in a light and joyous atmosphere, and who knows—you may even find you started a new tradition.