As Ramadan progresses, conversations at work and home (not to mention online) inevitably turn to the upcoming Eid break. Whilst we are at the mercy of the moon sighting over exactly which days the celebration marking the end of the Holy Month will fall, it is more than likely to produce an extra-long weekend for all of us this year. Whether you have been fasting or not, the opportunity to celebrate with those we care about, or even the time off to do something different, is a special gift to be cherished.
What is Eid al-Fitr?
If you aren’t already aware, Eid al-Fitr is also called the ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast’ and marks the end of Ramadan for Muslims all over the world. This religious holiday is announced upon the sighting of the crescent moon and even has its own special Eid prayer that must be observed. After attending the Eid prayer and making sure to have given their zakat (charity), Muslims traditionally join their family and friends to celebrate the holiday together.
To make sure that you can make the most of your Eid al-Fitr break, we have taken a look at some great ideas of how to spend those precious days off, so that you can start planning now!
While the main purpose of Eid al-Fitr is associated with charity and giving, it is also a time that families will traditionally spend together, often in large groups, sharing Eid gifts with children and tucking into delicious meals. That is why it might be the perfect opportunity for you to use your days’ off to host a special event for your loved ones. Perhaps a simple, but elegant barbeque, maybe a belated housewarming or overdue birthday celebration or have you been dying to stretch your culinary skills with a fancy dinner party? Might it be time to just have everyone who makes you smile over to yours and host an evening of excellent company and great conversation? You don’t even have to cater remember, we’re pretty sure deliveroo can handle anything these days!
Are you one of those people who finds themselves day dreaming about certain skills or activities? Have you heard yourself mention a potential hobby one-too many times to friends without ever getting started? Is it possible you have been procrastinating at the cost of adding another string to your bow? Let’s face it, being a teacher is time consuming and often very tiring, but that doesn’t mean that we should ignore the opportunities to have full, fun lives outside of school. If there is a hobby, skill or activity that you have been dying to try, maybe Eid al-Fitr is just the time to do it. A four or five day break opens up a lot of opportunities, from getting a great start on learning a new language to your PADI qualification, attending a comprehensive cooking course to wow your friends to donning your dancing shoes and hot-stepping around studio. There are so many things to learn, try and experience right here in Dubai, you could find yourself having the greatest adventure not that far from home at all; and who knows where it could take you?
With Eid al-Fitr expected to last at least four or five days, it is a fantastic time to take advantage of the highly-enviable geographic location of Dubai and venture off somewhere new. We are extremely lucky to have so many different types of countries, adventures and destinations within mere hours of the city. Time Out Dubai have broken down some ideal places to add to your passport stamps from India to Egypt, but topping our list right now for a short city break is Istanbul. Sandwiched between two continents, cultures and histories this is a city with plenty to offer. You will never run out of beautiful sites, traditional landmarks, bustling shopping markets and delicious culinary treats.
Since one of the main tenants of Eid al-Fitr is centred on charity, much like Ramadan is as well; it is the ideal time to consider taking the plunge into volunteering or reaching out to those less fortunate. For many Muslims around the world Eid al-Fitr is a time to spend with loved ones, but there are also lots of less well-off people for whom that isn’t possible and for whom celebrating might not be very easy. Taking time out to give a helping hand, to anyone who needs it, is one of the most valuable and rewarding acts we can do as humans and it can often be completely transformative. Perhaps this year instead of jetting off on a trip or splashing out in the sales, you could try something completely different and offer your time, or money, to a cause that will change peoples’ lives. There are plenty of options to choose from, including the Ramadan Fridges initiative (which will run through Eid), Dubai Cares, Animal Shelter Volunteer opportunities and an official list of the approved charities in Dubai.
Whatever you end up doing this Eid al-Fitr, we hope you have an amazing time and that you get to spend it with people who make you smile and rejuvenate your soul; because the best breaks are the ones that bring relaxation, happiness and a big old boost to start term again!
Let us know how you plan to spend Eid al-Fitr and any great ideas you want to share via our social media or email us on firstname.lastname@example.org