Eid is the Arabic word for festival. At the end of Ramadan the UAE will celebrate Eid al-Fitr, the ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast.’ For many expats Eid marks the moment they are allowed to eat and drink in public again. Indeed everyone is, as according to tradition it is forbidden to fast on the first day of Eid. Instead, people will celebrate their efforts during Ramadan and enjoy the holiday period that the government mandates for all employees.
As with all Islamic tradition, Eid al-Fitr is not without a spiritual element. If you want to help your children to understand why the mall is adorned with coloured lights and why Mum and Dad haven’t gone to work today, here are a few ideas from us (depending on the level of understanding of your child):
1. Zakat is the name given to the mandatory charitable donation that takes place prior to Eid al-Fitr. Before you eat lunch (if you are eating at a restaurant) you could encourage your child to drop some coins into a collection box, explaining that you are helping others to eat as you are about to.
2. You might arrange to meet with friends for lunch, or host a play-date at home. Hospitality is a large part of the Eid celebration and as an added bonus; your children will see their school friends outside of school term.
3. Share food with your neighbour. Even though your neighbour will probably have eaten, taking round some cake or small savoury snacks will help your children understand that in giving food they will receive thanks and a smile. Positive reinforcements like this grow confidence and build self-esteem.
However you choose to celebrate Eid this year we hope you have a happy one. Eid Mubarak from the Oaktree team.