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"Eid" is the Arabic word for festivity. There are two important Eids in the Islamic calendar: the smaller Eid al-Fitr and the greater Eid al-Adha. Just as there are different Muslim communities all over the world, there are different ways of celebrating an Eid for children. It is a time of prayer, feasting, gift giving and charity.
Eid al-Fitr happens at the very end of Ramadan. Fasting is over and symbolized by having a special breakfast, usually accompanied by dates. It is usual for the entire family to attend a special communal prayer held in an open space such as a field, community center or mosque. Activities for children are incorporated into the family celebration.
The central theme of this festival is to remember Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son. Children receive traditionally white, new clothes on the first day to wear. At the large family parties during this festival, children are entertained by different games such as a traditional calligraphy competition and charades where participants act out scenes from religious texts.
Eid al-Adha Communal Activities
Eid al-Adha starts with a congregational prayer. A special lunch or dinner may be provided at the mosque. Young people can be involved in helping set up and clean up after these events. The local market usually is a center point for festivities, where families go to shop and take part in organized activities, including games for children. There are special Eid fairs and carnivals in many places with dancing, puppeteers, clowns, rides and game booths. Large public celebrations include special concerts or sports competitions.
Handmade greeting cards for Eid are a creative way for children to get involved. Kids also could make and decorate paper lanterns. You might do an activity based on the custom of getting henna decorations. Food is a central element of these festivals. Children can help make cookies and wrap them in little packages to give to others. Another theme of these holidays is charity. Encourage children to think of ways they can help others, from donating toys and clothes to organizing a food drive for a food bank.
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