Making Eid special and memorable is especially important, especially for those living outside of Muslim countries. But it requires adequate planning and preparation. Here are 24 ideas on how to plan and prepare an unforgettable Eid.
1. Talk it out with everyone
Make a specific Eid plan TODAY. Sit with the family and discuss what you will do on Eid day. Plan things step by step. Where will you go to do Eid prayers? Where will you go afterwards? Will you first go to the local farm to sacrifice an animal (see point number 3)? Get everyone involved and listen to all suggestions.
2. Dress for success
In most Muslim countries, Eid is often a time for buying new clothing. Make sure to buy at least one new item for Eid this time. It does not have to be a full outfit if that is too expensive. A piece of jewelry, a hat, or new shoes can be paired with your nicest clothes for the blessed occasion.
3. Talk about Qurbani and arrange to do it
Eid-ul-Adha is a time to visit a farm to sacrifice an animal for the sake of Allah, distribute its meat, and to talk about the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him.
4. Remember Hajj
Talk about Hajj during a family story night. Recount the memories of your experience or that of other family members. Also, discuss as a family when you want to go for Hajj or Umra. Be concrete. Don't say someday. Set a formal target date.
5. Tell the story of Hajar and Hajj
On Hajj day talk about why millions of Muslims run between the hills of Safa and Marwa in Makkah. This is a key rite of Hajj, and it is an important part of Muslim belief and history.
6. Have a Hajj competition
Have an open book competition in your home about Hajj and Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him, with prizes for all participants.
7. Make arrangements to meet someone really important
While Hajj has once again been restricted to residents of Saudi Arabia this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, invite to your home in person (if it can be done safely) or via Zoom, someone who has completed their Hajj (often called a "Hajji"). Get this first-person perspective on the blessed journey.
8. "Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar...."
Involve the kids, especially the younger ones, in loud Takbirat while going and returning from the Eid Prayer.
9. Watch Adam learn out about Hajj
For children ages 2 to 8 "Take Me to the Kaba" is an excellent video choice for them to watch on or before Eid. Many public schools show this fourth episode of Adam's World in their schools.
10. Watch a personal Hajj experience
If you can’t host a person who has made Hajj, check out a first-person perspective via online platforms like Netflix. One example is Michael Wolfe’s “The Hajj: One American's Pilgrimage to Mecca”.
11. Give gifts
Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, said, "Exchange presents with one another, for they remove ill feelings from the hearts" (Tirmidhi). Eid is one of the best times to do this.
12. For the family's study circle
For the collective family study circle, read and discuss verses from the Quran about Hajj and Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him.
13. Talk about Prophet Ibrahim during story time
For your children's bedtime story, read about or tell them about Prophet Ibrahim, peace be upon him and he and his family’s connection to Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha.
14. Share Eid with the family and neighbors
If you can do it safely or preferably, outdoors, have two Eid dinners: one for the family on Eid day and one with neighbors the next day. Or you could just share some dishes on Eid with your neighbors.
15. Take the car out for a...
..family road trip, local or an hour or two away from home. Sing Eid songs in the car on the way, eat and stop in between for prayers. Make this the family's first long drive after winter.
16. Make your Eid one with real entertainment
While movie marathons may be fun, if possible, exchange that for some in-person hanging out time with the family. Plan some outdoor games or indoor board games together. These are better for building memories together. They are interactive and not passive entertainment.
17. Decorate your home for Eid
Decorating your home for Eid will help liven up the atmosphere. Use balloons, banners, streamers, lights, and more.
18. Encourage the kids to make handmade gifts
While it’s easier to buy and send something, a handmade gift shows that the giver took the time and effort to make something truly special. If you and your family are crafty, make a unique Eid gift for loved ones.
19. Start a family project
Why not mark Eid-ul-Adha with a new family project? For example, start a family library. Discuss the issue practically: how many books, which kinds, budget, where will the library be set up in the home, etc.
20. Share with needy kids
During Eid-ul-Adha, spread the joy to children in need. Encourage a family donation for kids in a specific part of the world. Or if you know a family locally who is struggling financially, put together an Eid gift box for them. You can include candies, chocolates, small toys, clothing, or accessories to brighten Eid day for them.
21. Discuss the Eid day menu
If you are the family member responsible for preparing the food on Eid day, consult other members of the family. Consultation may help you involve them in preparation and cleanup as well.
22. Invite those who are alone
Make a special effort this Eid-ul-Adha to invite over those who are alone, either by choice or circumstance. Include them in your Eid plans by inviting them over for lunch/dinner, give a gift, or set a time to at least message or call them on Eid day so that they feel less alone.