Holidays may seem as simple as a day to have fun and celebrate. But they are far more important to our well-being and identity. Celebrating the holidays builds resilience in all of us. In this blog post, we’ll discuss the impact of celebrating Eid on our well-being and spirit.
Celebrating Eid is to celebrate resilience.
Eid is not just a Muslim holiday at the end of Ramadan. It’s a celebration of resilience— of the completion of struggling and pushing through thirty days of fasting and increased worship. Celebrations meet an internal need for emotional and social nourishment. Similar to how plants need nourishment, our souls also need nourishment. If we don’t intentionally and actively celebrate, we start to lose enthusiasm and motivation and burn out quickly. By celebrating, we are giving our mental health a boost by focusing on small positive gains— particularly in a time when many feel overwhelmed. Celebrating Eid is an expression of gratitude to Allah SWT. By celebrating our accomplishments, we show Him that we are grateful for allowing us to experience and complete Ramadan. We show him appreciation for what He provided us to get through this month:
“And (He desires) that you should complete the prescribed period and that you should glorify Allah for having guided you and that you may give thanks.”
Celebrating Eid is to celebrate our identity and values.
Although resilience is often thought of as being able to bounce back from challenges, it can also be thought of as trying to keep up your regular routines even when it’s hard. When you make it through tough times, you reinforce the message that you are resilient, and celebrating Eid does just that. By focusing on building rituals and traditions, you honor your heritage and help define yourself as an individual and as a family. Maintaining rituals highlights what is important for you to hold onto even in times of adversity.
This is no truer than now, living in America. Research shows that children who value their Muslim identity as highly as they do their American identity have greater positive outcomes. It’s imperative to build positive associations so that they continue to value Muslim traditions and holidays. When children see you valuing certain family rituals, they remember and hold onto their family identity and religious values. So how can you do this? Think about the values you want to highlight.
- Don’t make it about money. For some of us, financial hardship may impact our gift-giving. Use this chance to reflect on the patterns of consumerism we may have gotten used to, which may make us miss out on the true meaning of generosity and the giving tradition that runs deep within our religion. How we choose to celebrate, highlights our true values and sends messages to our children for what to expect out of this holiday.
- With older kids, use this as an opportunity to talk about current unemployment levels in America and how many are struggling. Make Islam relevant for your tweens and teens.
- Let go of what causes you stress. You may feel pressured to have a decorated house and hold a burdensome gathering, but if it’s causing you stress and making you grumpy, is that really building positive associations around Eid? Perhaps it’s time to refocus your priorities on what truly makes you happy.
Celebrating Eid is about honoring rituals and creating family traditions.
Think about the family rituals you want to pass on to your children. Involve the family by having a meeting to discuss reframing this Eid as an opportunity to celebrate resilience. Brainstorm ideas about what would make this Eid uniquely special for your family.
- Pre-Eid Celebrations
- Decorate the house- visuals are great to link our memories with positive feelings.
- Get together the night before Eid to do henna or prep for Eid.
- Don’t lose the spiritual opportunity of this night: The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said, ’There are five nights on which du’a is not rejected: the first night of Rajab, the fifteenth night of Sha’ban, Thursday night, the night before Eid al-Fitr and the night before Eid al-Nahr (al-Adha)’. [Suyuti]
- The Sunnahs of Eid
- Engage in the sunnahs of Eid: ghusl on Eid day, eating before eid prayer, dressing up, reciting takbeerat (praises to Allah (SWT)), exchanging well wishes, prayers, and eating and drinking festive foods during daylight hours!
- Even if you don’t feel up for it, try to make this a special occasion in what you wear and do, as the Prophet (PBUH) did. Celebrate the spiritual renewal, self-discipline, and a more beautified state of being you experienced in Ramadan.
- If you are not able to pray with your community, you can still gather with family or loved ones in your prayer space to make takbeerat and pray Eid Salat together.
- Connect with Community: Collective celebration is important and helps solidify the feeling that we are all in this together. Finding ways to celebrate together can also remind us that we are part of a larger community that cares for us and we care for.
- Open-house Eid celebrations
- Online gatherings to connect across distance
- Secret Sahabi (secret gift exchanges)
- Community picnics
- Family Activities
- “Yes Day”
- Gift exchange
- Take a Hike
- Visit the sick
- Family Backyard Olympics
- Scavenger hunt
- Food decorations
- Ice cream sundaes
- Board games
Remember, celebrating Eid is about celebrating our resilience through this month. It’s about celebrating our values and traditions so that we know what we hold dear and what we’d like to pass on to generations. It’s about coming together as a collective Ummah! May Allah accept all of our ibadat (worship) this month. From our family to yours, The Family and Youth Institute would like to wish you a blessed and Happy Eid!