“Ramadan is, in its essence, a time of humanist spirituality.”
Wherever you live in the world, it’s quite likely that you’ve heard of Ramadan by now, considering it started over three weeks back. If you’ve been wondering what it’s all about, or if you’d like to join in the celebrations, we’ve got you covered! Today, we’re going to give you a quick introduction to Ramadan and Eid, along with some fun Ramadan crafts and activities for kids!
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan (also called Ramzan) is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. During this month, Muslims across the world fast from sunrise to sunset. The Islamic calendar is different from the Gregorian calendar, since it follows the phases of the moon. Thus, Ramadan may be 29 or 30 days and the dates change every year, moving ahead by approximately 11 days.
Fasting during Ramadan is one of the fundamental pillars of Islam, and Muslims who are old enough and healthy enough to fast do so for the entire month. This is also the month of the revelation of the Quran, the holy book of the Muslims, which makes it extra special. The fasting period is from dawn to dusk, during which the fasting person is expected to stay away from food and water.
Along with hunger and thirst, a fasting person should also control his tongue and his emotions. In a nutshell, Ramadan is about self-discipline and piety, and is supposed to be a time of spiritual recharge. As we get through the day without food or water, it reminds us to be grateful for all our blessings. It is also a time for more prayers, introspection, charity and service. As you can see, going hungry or thirsty is just a small part of Ramadan – this month is about a lot more than just food!
Here are a few common terms used during Ramadan:
- Suhoor/Sehri – An early meal eaten before sunrise, to provide sustenance for a day of fasting
- Iftar – The meal with which the fast is broken at sunset
- Zakat – A certain part of your surplus income which is given out as charity
What is Eid-ul-Fitr?
The start and end of Ramadan are signaled by the arrival of the new moon. Eid-ul-Fitr is the celebration that occurs on the day after Ramadan ends. ‘Eid’ roughly means festival, and there are two in the Islamic Calendar. This one is Eid-ul-Fitr, or the ‘Festival of the Breaking of the Fast’, and the other is Bakrid or Eid-ul-Adha.
Eid celebrations begin the night before and continue for the next few days! People wear new clothes, offer special prayers, distribute gifts and sweets and visit friends and relatives. In many countries, women apply henna on their hands in intricate designs. Of course, there’s also a grand feast involved! Part of the Eid celebrations also involves making sure that no one in the area is hungry, and special efforts are made to collect money or food and distribute them in time.
When is Ramadan and Eid?
As mentioned earlier, the dates vary every year since the Islamic calendar is lunar and the Gregorian calendar is solar. This year, Ramadan began on 27th May 2017 and Eid is likely to be on 25th or 26th June, depending upon the sighting of the moon.
But you don’t have to wait for the moon to start enjoying the spirit of Ramadan and Eid! Here are some fun Ramadan crafts and activities for kids, that are great to keep or gift to your friends!
10 Ramadan Crafts and Activities for Kids
Since the beginning of Ramadan and Eid is decided based on moon sightings, why not have some fun and look at how the moon’s phases change every day? These moon sighting binoculars from Hello Holy Days are super cute and perfect for the task!
In the days before smart phones and alarm clocks, many villages had a designated Ramadan drummer. This person would wake up really early and start walking through the streets beating his drum, waking everyone up so they wouldn’t miss their Sehri. Martha Stewart has a lovely drummer doll, along with matching village houses!
If you’d like to give someone a handmade Eid gift, then you can’t go wrong with this Origami star necklace from A Crafty Arab. You need very basic jewelry making supplies for this, and you can make them in different colors to gift all your friends on Eid!
The crescent features prominently in Ramadan and Eid which is why this crescent Eid card would be ideal to give someone! All you need is dark colored card stock and glitter foam, long with a few silver ‘gem’ stickers. We like making multiples of these in mini-versions to hand out on Eid.
Around the subcontinent and the Middle East, applying henna is an important part of the eve of Eid festivities. Once all their work is done, women sit together, get out their cones and start drawing some beautiful designs! My Poppet has used similar designs on these pretty Henna hand dishes, which are great for putting in your earrings, cuff links and more!
Give your Eid gifts a little traditional touch with these pipe cleaner star and moon gift toppers from Hello Holy Days! With a little practice, you can get those shapes perfectly. Use plain wrapping paper with colorful ribbons and these toppers to make them really stand out!
The Curious George books are popular among little ones worldwide, and this Ramadan edition is a comparatively new addition to the series. This is a truly adorable story about George helping his friend, Kareem, to keep his fast. The two learn about Ramadan and also figure out ways to get through a fasting day! Lovely book for the young generation.
Give your windows a traditional stained glass appearance with these pretty Ramadan sun catchers from Sweet Fajr. A free printable is available, which makes this craft super easy! Thread them on a string for a beautiful banner that catches the sunlight!
In many countries across the world, giving kids ‘Eidi’ or gift money is a popular custom on Eid. But of course, we can’t just be crass and hand the money directly, we need pretty envelopes like these from In My Studio. Check out their blog for many more printables like this.
Who says that the crescent should stay in the sky and not on your table? Little Life of Mine has some cute and scrumptious looking crescent and star shaped rice crispie treats. The recipe is easy enough, all you need are the right cookie cutters and you’re done!
Whether you’re looking for some decor, a handmade gift, card or a fun recipe, you’ll find it among these Ramadan Crafts and Activities for kids! Now hurry up, get out there and start looking for the crescent moon!