Primary Current Assemblies
(19 August 2012)
Suitable for Key Stage 2
To consider the meaning of the words ‘Eid ul-Fitr’ and thereby to understand something about the different facets of this Muslim festival.
Preparation and materials
- Eid ul-Fitr is a Muslim holiday marking the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting. The festival of Eid ul-Fitr can last for one, two or three days. It begins with the sighting of the new moon at Mecca.
Eid is an Arabic word meaning ‘festivity’.
ul-Fitr means ‘of breaking the fast’.
Eid mubarak means ‘blessed Eid’ and is the usual greeting on these days.
- Items linked to celebrations, for example, holly, crackers, fireworks, horseshoe, anniversary card, candles, single rose, jelly, Christmas pudding (see section 1).
- Whiteboard/keyboard/PowerPoint: words and their meanings; sentences to sequence (see sections 3 and 4 below).
- If possible, enrol the help of Muslim children to explain what happens during the festival (see section 4).
- Items linked to Eid – a packet of dates, an Eid card or an image from the web (lots on YouTube, check copyright and content).
- A Stick-it/Post-it note for each child and member of staff.
- (Optional) Dates: enough for everyone in the assembly to be given one date to eat (see conclusion of the ‘Time for reflection’).
- All people everywhere love a celebration. They may celebrate on different days and in different ways, but usually a celebration means joy and happiness.
Either play the game: Guess the celebration from the item. (Show some items as suggested in the second bullet above.)
Or, identify and discuss briefly: when we celebrate, how we celebrate, with whom we celebrate.
Ask: What is the biggest celebration you have been involved in?
- Explain that all over the world people of the Muslim faith hold a celebration called Eid ul-Fitr. This celebration is held once every year, but it doesn’t always happen on the same days each year because Muslim festivals depend on the moon for their date. This year Eid ul-Fitr starts on August 19. The celebration lasts for one, two or three days.
- On the whiteboard put up the following Arabic words and their meanings:
Eid – festivity
ul-Fitr – of breaking the fast
Eid mubarak – blessed Eid.
Explain that at Eid ul-Fitr Muslims greet one another with the words Eid mubarak, which means ‘blessed Eid’ – rather like ‘Happy Christmas’.
Consider these words and ask the children to suggest what the words make them think about. For example:
‘Eid’ suggests fun, laughter, decorations (show an Eid card).
‘ul-Fitr’ links this festival to Ramadan and suggests there may be food involved. (Show a packet of dates.)
‘mubarak’ suggests that the festival is to do with religion and faith.
- The first thing that happens on the day of the festival is that millions of people get up before sunrise, as they have been doing for the last 30 days (during Ramadan). And then they all prepare in the very same way!
(Sequence the following events, using the whiteboard. If there are Muslim children in your school, use them for this exercise.)
– They pray to God, Allah.
– They clean their teeth.
– They take a shower.
– They put on new, or their best, clothes, and perfume.
– They say a special Eid prayer.
– They have a small breakfast, often with date fruit.
– They go to the mosque for special morning prayers.
– They greet family and friends, and share a meal together.
Eid ul-Fitr is very much a community celebration so a lot of visiting takes place, a lot of eating and a lot of fun and laughter.
- At Eid ul-Fitr, Muslims are not only celebrating the end of fasting but are thanking Allah for the help and strength that he gave them to help them practise self-control throughout the previous month of Ramadan fasting.
- During Ramadan, Muslims considered the kind of lives they had been living.
Did they show kindness and thoughtfulness to others in their family and in the wider community?
Were they forgiving when someone wronged them?
Their holy book, the Qur’an, tells them that this is how they should be living. So with the happy festival of Eid ul-Fitr comes a time to say sorry to one another, to make amends. People are encouraged to forgive and to forget any differences or past grievances they may have had during the year. This is another reason why Eid ul-Fitr is a time of such great joy in the Muslim community.
Time for reflection
Perhaps we could use this time to think about any anger or grudges we might be holding towards someone we know.
We are going to use the Stick-it notes which you have all been given to help with this. (Make sure the staff get notes, too.) Each of us is to think about someone we need to forgive. It might be a family member, a friend, an adult. Imagine writing on this note what has angered or hurt you.
When you are ready to forgive, screw up the paper and then drop it in the bin as you leave the hall. Now you will be able to go away with a happier heart.
Thank you for celebrations,
for happy times that we spend with people we love.
Bless those who are enjoying the end of a time of fasting.
May the lessons they have learned
bring them happiness, forgiveness and a sense of community.
‘Praise him’ (Come and Praise, 40)
Bid everyone Eid mubarak as they leave.
The children could be offered a date (mind the stones, be careful about allergies) as they leave the assembly. Many will not have tasted this fruit before.