The month of Ramadan for the year 2021 has already begun on the day you are reading this, and what better time to talk about Eid than the beginning of this auspicious month which ends with one of the two Eid celebrations for Muslims all around the world.
For Muslims, religious holidays align with the Lunar Calendar rather than the more commonly used Gregorian calendar. The first Eid falls after the month of Ramadan. Each month, including Ramadan, lasts for 29–30 days, depending on the sighting of the new moon. The first Eid in the Islamic Calendar is called Eid-ul-Fitr and marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting in the month of Ramadan.
The second Eid of the Islamic Calendar is called Eid ul-Adha and marks the end of pilgrimage performed by many Muslims around the holy cities of Makkah and Madina. It involves slaughtering an animal and sharing the meat in three equal parts – for family, for relatives and friends, and for those in need. While slaughtering meat has become a common practice, the purpose behind it is to nurture a sense of community and responsibility to other humans, which can be undertaken in a myriad of ways.
In my house, each Eid is a glorious occasion. Everyone’s favorite food is prepared, decorations are hung, and often times I stay up late assembling gifts for my toddler and any other friends or family we hope to meet. Having moved away from the Middle East, where Eid is often celebrated nationwide, to the U.S., books play a huge role in recreating an atmosphere of celebration and togetherness. I have gathered seven picture books about Eid that will help you share some of the joy that these wonderful traditions bring with them.
All About Eid by Sarah Shaffi and Aaliya Jaleel
I wanted to start this list with this one because this is a fantastic pick that promises to keep your kids educated and entertained. Bursting with crafts and recipes, fun fill-in activities, and facts about the Eid celebrations observed by over a billion Muslims twice a year, children can create magical lanterns design and draw their own henna patterns make delicious treats inspired by countries and cultures all over the world.
In My Mosque by M. O. Yuksel and Hatem Aly
Mosques for Muslims are where they come together and pray five times a day. More than that though, mosques are a center of the community. Both the Eid traditions begin with people praying together and greeting one another at mosques. No matter who you are or where you’re from, everyone is welcome in a mosque. From grandmothers reading lines of the Qur’an and the imam telling stories of living as one mosque are centers for friendship, community, and a place where everyone is equal. Through beautiful text and illustrations, Yuksel brings joys and traditions to life.
Ilyas & Duck and the Fantastic Festival of Eid-al-Fitr by Omar Khawaja and Leo Antolini
The Ilyas & Duck series is a fantastic series for children who want to learn more about Islamic traditions. The stories and illustrations are absolutely delightful. In this particular edition join Ilyas & Duck in this fantastically delightful story as they explore the fun and excitement of Eid while learning about the charitable nature of it all.
Ramadan Around the World by Ndaa Hassan and Azra Momin
The traditions of Ramadan and Eid are closely linked to one another. This book showcases how various cultures celebrate the Islamic holiday. This anthology was gathered with the purpose of illustrating the diversity of the global Muslim community. It succeeds in doing just that. While all Muslims celebrate the same holiday, everyone does it in their own way. Children of all nationalities and abilities are represented throughout the book nurturing the attitude of togetherness from miles apart.
Peg + Cat: The Eid al-Adha Adventure by Jennifer Oxley and Billy Aronson
I wanted to add this one because it does a fantastic job at capturing how the Eid traditions can look from someone who does not observe them. It’s Eid al-Adha, a very special holiday for Yasmina and Amir, who invite their friends Peg and Cat to check it out. After they all have fun, Amir explains that an important part of celebrating Eid al-Adha is dividing the meat into three equal parts, one third to be shared with someone who has less. Thanks to a balancing scale, a trip to a soup kitchen, and an unexpected visit to a housebound neighbor, Peg and Cat learn all about the concept of taking from where there’s more and giving to where there’s less.
The Best Eid Ever by Asma Mobin-uddin and Laura Jacobsen
This book truly captures the essence of charity and giving that marks the traditions of Eid. It tells the story of Aneesa, who feels lonely on Eid as her parents are thousands of miles away for the Hajj pilgrimage. To cheer her up, her Nonni gives her a gift of beautiful clothes, one outfit for each of the three days of Eid. At the prayer hall, Aneesa meets two sisters who are dressed in ill-fitting clothes for the holiday. She soon discovers that the girls are refugees and they don’t have any clothes to wear for Eid. Aneesa then embarks on a mission to help these sisters all the while remaining grateful for all that she has.
Hamza Learns About Eid-ul-Adha by Asna Chaudhry
This one is part of another series where different Islamic traditions are explored by the main character. The sentences and paragraphs are short, the pictures are bright and colorful and the basics of Eid are conveyed. Its basic appeal also lies in the fact that our main character is trying to understand some of the complex topics around Eid-ul-Adha and works through some of his hilarious ideas.