Times have changed since the Eid’s of my childhood in Northern California, where every Muslim person in town pretty much knew each other and celebrated together with mornings at mosque followed by a flurry of parties – henna parties, tea parties, and dinner parties. It just felt like Eid. But after college finding myself working in a new city without family nearby, and even spending a few Eid’s at work because it wasn’t worth it to take time off to do so little, I realized I would have to put in some real effort if I really valued celebrating the Holiday. Like most things in life, if it is important enough, you need to find the time to make it happen. Especially now with a family of my own, I really want my kids to have great memories of Eid like I did.
A couple of years ago I wrote a blog post with a few ideas on how to celebrate Eid, which as it turns out, is still one of my most popular posts. Apparently I wasn’t alone in my search to create a new set of traditions for my family. So today’s post is an updated version with even more fun things to do…hope you enjoy!
10 Fun Things To Do To Celebrate Eid
1. Create excitement during the month of Ramadan with a ‘countdown to Eid’, literally counting down each day until the big day. You can DIY or buy and add to an advent calendar, or buy this adorable chalkboard .
2. You are probably already reading Qur’an, but try to add other books that might appeal to young children like this Curious George Ramadan book, this Ramadan book, or this sweet book about Eid.
3. Henna Party (on the night before Eid day). Blast the bhangra music and try your hand at some henna designs. If you don’t have an Indian or Pakistani grocery store nearby, you can order pre-made squeezable henna cones from Amazon. For design inspiration, check out my super talented friend Fatima @hennabyfatima. You can also find a lot of temporary tattoos and flash tattoos that will give the same look without all the mess of real henna.
4. Exchange handwritten letters or cards. If you are South Asian you know we don’t typically do gift exchanges on Eid except for giving cash to the children. I’m not a big fan of feeling obligated to buy something for everyone, but I do think meaningful homemade gifts or greeting cards are always the way to go. By far my favorite Eid cards are from Kishmish – they have the sweetest and funniest greeting cards I have seen. (Use my code ‘ZAHRA’ for a discount off of your order!)
5. Dress up! I rarely get to wear my Pakistani outfits, so Eid is the time I go all out. If you are looking to order something online, try Designer Consignment by Asra, an easy way to get your hands on designer outfits at a fraction of the cost. If you want to go for dat new new, try Kamal Beverly Hills – tip: call and speak to owner Sabaa with your budget and ideas in mind. For bedtime why not wear some cute Eid pajamas, I’m getting the baby one that says ‘dreaming of Eid’ for Sophia! For modest western wear, check out my collaboration and curated Ramadan edit with Farfetch.com, they have a huge selection of long dresses and skirts!
6. Craft! Kids (and adults) love to create – and for those of us who are stuck on ideas for Eid crafting, we are lucky enough to have a new crop of Etsy sellers with pre-made kits. Or make a garland to decorate the fireplace mantle, dining room, or anywhere else in the house.
7. Cook! Food isn’t only the way to a mans heart, it is the way to everyone’s hearts, am I right?! As a kid I loved helping my mom roll samosas or shape kabobs for dinner parties. If you need ideas on what to cook, my go to is an ah-mazing cook and blogger Abeer Najjar – warning – if you are fasting, hold off – her food pictures and videos will make you seriously hungry. I also recently came across blogger and YouTuber Rookie with a Cookie (how cute is that name btw?) and love her recipes!
8. Host a pot luck. Everyone is busier than ever these days, so cooking for a big group hosting a formal dinner, especially if you are fasting while doing the prep work, isn’t something everyone is in the mood to do. Have guests bring a dish and share the love. Tip: for a cohesive potluck meal, choose a theme or give guests a clear idea of what to bring – such as appetizer, dessert, Indian food, Mexican food, etc.
9. Document it! If you don’t, did it even happen?? For Social Media, create your own snapchat geofilter, or have a photo booth or step and repeat (red carpet backdrop) for memories – People always want to capture a great memory. Create the perfect backdrop by preparing an area of the home by getting rid of extra furniture, and add some flowers or a few garlands. Also don’t forget the lighting! Here is a way to DIY one and here is a Youtube video step-by-step tutorial.
10. Get outside and make your own traditions – whether you are visiting a museum, going for a bike ride, or going to the movies, do something that you want to continue doing as a family for years to come.
11. Other ideas from other cultures ~ Eid Pinata! Eid Egg hunt! Eid Cookies! (think cookie cutter shapes like moons, minarets, stars). The possibilities are endless, so just have fun with it!