Eid ul-fitr is one such tradition where Muslim families and their communities come together to mark the end of four weeks of Ramadan and the sighting of a new moon. We pray. We feast. We gather in the company of our elders and are grateful.
I grew up enjoying the festivities of Eid with food, dance and playing with my cousins. We received gifts or money - which was always spent before the week's end. Each year was different from the one before. There were years where I didn't understand its purpose - and drew away. And then there were years where I fasted for 30 days and concentrated only on my faith and direction. By reflecting on all those years past, I cherish how it has accumulated to what it is today.... And I am in awe of the spirit of tradition and how it ties us all together - divinely.
With the blessings of Ava and Noah, I am humbled by the opportunity to continue this tradition as my parents did for us. And honored to create new ones as unique as our own family.
We read My First Ramadan, a children's book that beautifully illustrates the simplicity and love within the religious holiday, and stories from the Koran nightly. We drew pictures, ate dates, and became more conscious of the food we consumed. And before we knew it, a new moon was sighted - and Eid was here.
The traditional Afghan dress my father brought back for Ava from his trip to Afghanistan was finally fitted - and a local trip to the international market for accessories and gifts for the kids were completed.
We celebrated at my parents house with traditional Afghan food, and of course, "eidies." I wrapped the children's gifts in their artwork and filled tubes of wrapping paper with candies, dancing sticks and bangles [yes, we even got Sophia a set]. The night was memorable - and once again... breathtaking.
This year we have beautiful Sophia, their newest cousin, joining the festivities of our family and faith. Our children may be too small to ebrace the religious scope of the holiday, but they are full of life, love, and gratitude for one another...which to me, are derivatives of Ramadan.
Eid Mubarak to all the little ones who are celebrating for the first time... and to everyone else around the world with fond memories of their childhood traditions with family.