We are still in the midst of celebrating this year’s Eid Al-Adha. Like most things, I’d planned more in my head than we actually got to. But I don’t let that stress me out. It just gives me something to aspire to in the future. This season of my life is a hectic one so I am not about to give myself an unrealistic standard to live up to! That said, I am happy I got to teach my son a few things about this Eid and Hajj.
If you aren’t familiar with this holiday, it marks the end of the pilgrimage, or Hajj, to Mecca. It is also a commemoration of the prophet Ibrahim’s (Abraham) willingness to sacrifice even his own son if it had be required by God. Eid Al-Adha means “Feast of the Sacrifice” and one thing that Muslims do to mark these holy days is to slaughter an animal (typically a cow, goat or sheep) and give the meat to feed family, friends and especially those in need.
We read a few books that I requested from the local libraries. I was quite disappointed in the selection of books available. I need to buy some for the future. (If you have any recommendations, leave them in the comments!) Two of the books we enjoyed were Going to Mecca by Na’ima B. Robert and The Perfect Gift by J. Samira Mair. (Click book photo below to go to Amazon via Affiliate Link)
We also decided to ‘clean up’ the Kabaa we made several years ago. We had watched several videos on YouTube showing the tawaf around Kabaa and the changing of the covering that happens on the Day of Arafat. My son asked me why they changed it and was fascinated to watch how they did it. I explained that they want to keep it looking nice and clean because it’s a very holy place and we don’t want it dusty and dirty. He suggested we do the same to our little black wooden cube that he painted when he was around two years old. So we dusted it off and applied a fresh coat of paint (with the help of little sis!) and when that dried we used golden Washi tape as an embellishment. Very simple, but he was thrilled by it. The finished product is on our bar. I also like to get flowers and candles for these holidays and other special events. It’s such a nice and easy way to make the house feel festive.
On the first Eid day, we celebrated with some of my husband’s family that lives near D.C. We gave them these gift bags. It was a great, low-key day and the kids really enjoyed playing hide-and-go-seek and soccer with some of their cousins. More than anything, I want them to appreciate the opportunity to be with family and close friends to worship and celebrate. On the second day, we were back and home and my husband had to go to work. I spent the day preparing a ‘party’ with my kids. We went shopping for food, flowers and helium balloons. (Tip: if you go to Party City you can get an extra kick of helium something that will make the balloons last much longer.) I didn’t make any elaborate food or decorations, but the kids were hyped to be surprising Baba. Again, it’s not about everything being perfect, it’s about being together and making special memories. And we are still playing with those balloons!
Today (Saturday) is the third day of Eid. I got them some gifts that they unwrapped this morning and we plan to spend the day together playing and laughing. I got my daughter a Play-Doh set and and some neat tools to use with it. My son got a scooter! Such a big guy now. Next year I’m planning to get him involved more with gift giving to others. It’s something I really enjoy and I hope to pass that on to my children.
In future years, I hope to be able to teach my son more and more about the details of Hajj and the details of what we celebrate. I have a Pinterest board with a few ideas for various ages. Follow along and add any of your own suggestions to the comments below. Follow glimmersnaps’s board Eid al Adha on Pinterest.
Wishing you all a blessed Eid!