New Eid Traditions for a New Age

Eid with a new flavour comes this year. Family, friends and neighbours have to find innovative styles for promoting togetherness. Let’s celebrate with a flair for kindness and sharing.

By Mahvish Akhtar

Eid is approaching. There is so much to plan, so much to do. This time around, even more so. This time we also have to figure out how to layout the chairs,so they are 6 feet apart from one another. Should we invite people at all? How much disinfectant and extra masks should we stock up on? These are the questions that are baffling everyone. One problem we help you with is that you don’t need to let your family bebored just because there isn’t much going on outside. Also, there’sreally no reason to go out needlessly. We know it’s tough staying in on a day like Eid, instead of doing the same old, how about we start some new traditions and find some new stuff to do that can maybe become part of our every year. Let us see what we can come up with:

1.Food stands:
This works for children of all ages. They can put a stand outside the front gate and distribute food to the passer by’s. If you wish, you can label the food with the words Eid Mubarak and the child and family name. That way, it can be a memory they can cherish. You can serve non-perishable food, so you don’t have to go through the hassle of cooking or make a cold drink since summer is upon us, this would be a pleasant cool down for the neighborhood. Just keep a distance from the public—masks, and gloves on hand. Keep the children on the pouring end,and older children on the serving end or the adults can take that job. This doesn’t have to be more than a couple of hours. It might be refreshing to go out and mingle without getting to close and touching.
2. Goodie bags or little toys for neighborhood kids:
a. If you want to go mess-free and limit the interactions, this would be best for someone with younger children. These gifts can be handmade by the children or store-bought. Don’t go too fancy or tire yourself out. The simpler, the better. Remember, the idea is to give the family something to do. The purpose is to get out. Stand outside your door and hand it to children passing by.
3.Make individual cards to mail electronically for those that cannot be reached. Of course, that’s a no brainer. Decorating cards can be a fun lengthy process if we let it be for children. We usually reserve it for other occasions. Let’s try it for Eid this year in a more elaborate and detailed fashion.
4.Decide on an easy eid meal that the whole family can prepare together. Go off tradition. Some traditions are religious, so maybe the adults can keep those up. Pick easy recipes with the kids and prepare a menu to start preparing from before, so they have something to be excited about and look forward to on the day of Eid.
5. Send thank-you notes to people that have done kind things for you and your family over the past few months. The Month of Ramadan should teach us to look inward. There are so many supplies in the stationery stores dedicated to thank-you notes and calligraphy; this would be an extremely interesting way to spend time.
6. I am sure everyone is already mailing Eid Mubarak cards in their own creative ways to their loved ones. Don’t limit yourselves to just a card. Nowadays, we have videos, and with the magic of editing and filters, there are so many ways to make it amazing and personal. Use all that to make it heartfelt and goofy.Let loose, try everything. Make movies of your lives. Think outside the box to show them how much you love them, miss them, and wish they were here with you this year.
7. Get out some Colorful chalk, or buy it, and draw on your street, driveway, where ever there is some space on the ground outside. Make sure the area is clean first. It is our responsibility to clean up as well. This can keep kids busy for hours and give them much needed sun and wind.
Along the same lines, take out the paints and colors, give the kids paper and let them go crazy within an area that’s easily washable with water. Preferably outside somewhere. Okay, maybe do that at the end of the day so you can just put them in water and scrub them off.
8. On that note, a pool party or just plain getting wet never fails. Usually, that’s not how we spend Eid, but we said we’re starting new traditions.
9. Have breakfast, brunches, dinners, weather permitting, on rooftops, and balconies. Encourage your neighbors and friends to do the same. If you can’t be together in the same house, at least you can be close enough to shout at each other from across the streets and roofs.