FESTIVAL OF EID-UL-FITR-UL-FITR
The festival of breaking the fast of
Date varies from year to year - please check the REonline Festivals Calendar
for Whole School
Celebrating the end of
Ramadan and the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr-ul-Fitr; thankfulness; helping those in
Preparation and materials
- You could have
any of the following available to show during the assembly: a traditional
Eid-ul-Fitr card or an example of Islamic calligraphy or patterns; some
traditional Eid-ul-Fitr cakes or sweets; a picture of the moon.
- As with all world
faith assemblies, there may well be children present who know more about the
festival or have personal knowledge they can add.
- Ask if anyone has looked up at
the night sky this week. Could they see the moon? What shape was it? Was it a
large, round, full moon, half a moon, or just a tiny sliver of a moon? Explain
that many millions of people around the world are especially watching the shape
of the moon at the moment because when the new crescent moon appears they will
know that it is time to begin a great celebration.
This is called the
festival of Eid-ul-Fitr. Eid means 'happiness' in Arabic and the festival of
Eid-ul-Fitr is one of great happiness and celebration. Explain that for the
last month Muslims have been fasting: each day they have woken up early, before
the sun rises, to eat a meal and drink, and then they do not eat or drink again
until it is dark. This is called fasting. Imagine what it would be like. It's
hard to do, but fasting helps Muslims to come closer to God (who they call
Allah) and to think about people who do not have enough to eat and drink every
day of their lives. The festival of Eid-ul-Fitr shows that Ramadan has finished
and as the old moon begins to disappear Muslims know that the fast of Ramadan
is coming to an end and that it will soon be Eid-ul-Fitr.
- Ask the children how they
celebrate a special occasion. What do they do (e.g. eat special food, meet with
friends and family, go somewhere special, send cards, buy presents)?
Eid-ul-Fitr is full of all those things. Muslims send special cards to one
another, which are beautifully decorated with words from the holy book the
Qu'ran. Extra special cards are decorated with gold dust and small precious
stones to make the letters and to decorate the borders of the cards. They
sometimes have the words 'Eid Mubarak' written in Arabic. This means 'have a
happy and blessed Eid'.
- So Eid-ul-Fitr begins when the
new moon appears after Ramadan over the Muslims' holy city of Makkah in Saudi
Arabia. Very often Muslims who live in America or Europe will telephone their
friends and families in the Arabic countries to ask if the new moon has
appeared yet. Many people stay up all night to see the new moon.
first day of Eid-ul-Fitr Muslims will dress in their best clothes. Sometimes
new clothes are bought especially for the occasion. Often a special perfume is
worn by men and women. Girls and women might have decorated their hands with
reddish-brown patterns which might look like leaves or flowers or swirling
shapes. These are called Mehndi patterns. Then the most important part of the
day begins as Muslims go to the mosque, their special place of worship. It's a
time to give thanks to Allah and to ask for help to lead a good life.
After the prayers Muslims meet their friends and families and the
celebrations begin. There are lots of smiles and hugs. Sometimes there will be
stalls outside the mosque with special Eid-ul-Fitr gifts and food to buy. But
before they leave the mosque Muslims make sure they have given something to
help people who are poor or in need. This is because they believe that in God's
eyes everyone is equal and that everything belongs to God, so money should be
shared fairly and those who have enough to live on must help those who do not
Then it's time to eat and to eat well. All sorts of
different foods are eaten depending on which part of the world you are in. It's
a time for families to get together too and a time to prepare the best food.
Very often the food is spicy, and sweet things are also a great favourite.
Children look forward to this time because this is when presents are given.
After the meal the celebrations continue. In some countries there are
acrobats and processions to watch. In Saudi Arabia people like to watch camel
racing, and horse racing is also popular in the Middle East and North Africa.
on the themes
Eid-ul-Fitr-ul-Fitr is a
great time of celebration and happiness and it's also a time to be thoughtful.
For Muslims it is a special time to be thankful to God for helping them through
the fast of Ramadan and for helping them to lead good lives.
Invite the children to sit quietly and
maybe to close their eyes if it helps them to concentrate. Ask them to think
about the good things in their own lives. Think about the things that they want
to give thanks for. Think about the things that make them happy.
might like to make the following prayer their own prayer, or just think about
God of all,
Thank you for the good things in our
Thank you for the times when we are happy.
Help us to share our
happiness with people who may be sad or lonely.
We pray for people around
the world who do not have enough to eat -
help us to be generous with what
'The best gift' (Come and Praise,