Stay home, stay safe — 5 fun ways to celebrate Eid during a pandemic
We've lived two Eids and a bunch of other holidays through the Covid-19 pandemic, and we now know what not to do: go hopping door to door meeting relatives, attending big gatherings or public events, and just leaving the house unnecessarily without a mask. Having said that, we've also learnt a thing or two about having fun at home, with your closest family, or even on your own. We've learnt that its doable, a lot of fun, and the best thing you can do this Eid.
You might have to stay home but that doesn't mean your Eid has to be boring. Here are some fun ways to celebrate Eid without violating SOPs and putting yourselves and your families at risk.
One of the most symbolic things about Eid is the family coming together, like every other day, but in a new energy — the Eid energy. Everyone's in a great mood, joking around with each other, taking interest in what they have to say and that is perhaps the essence of Eid, which is what we seek to preserve in the absence of normalcy.
What better way to come together intimately with the people you see everyday then to embark on a creative endeavour together? So, this Eid, make goody bags for the loved ones you can't meet with the loved ones that you can.
You can start with making a list of people you'd like to send out cards and wishes to. Then, think of what you want to send to them, like chocolate, flowers, Eidi (obviously), Eid cards, fresh fruit and homemade kheer and/or baked goodies.
Here are great Eid card DIY videos we found on Youtube:
If you're not feeling that creative, that's no reason to worry, you can always buy some cards for your friends and family. There are great resources available online as well where you can order Eid cards. You can order them on Tohfay or this great page.
Whether you take our Eid advice or not, what's important is that you keep it simple. With your celebrations, with your events and with your wishes. If there are relatives and friends you think you can wish without having to visit them, please do so, keep your traveling to a minimum and meet only the people you absolutely have to. If you think sending a card will do, send one.
Now that you have Eid cards ready, next up, of course, are the goodies. If there's one thing all those years eating kheer and dipped dry dates has taught us, it's that Eid isn't Eid without the desserts.
Family cooking sessions are not only great fun and an exciting way to spend time, but also the perfect at-home entertainment this Eid! Make a playdate out of it!
When was the last time the men in your household stepped in to help prepare the festivities? This year, with everything else shut and literally nothing else needed of them, get them busy in the kitchen! Make a game out of it perhaps. Hand them the ingredients and the recipe, and let's see what they come up with. (You might need to prepare a back up dessert though.)
Maybe this year you can give kahk a shot. It's a small round biscuit popular among the Arabs. Pakistanis who've lived in the Gulf will tell you it's a popular treat in the Eid season. Here's our favourite recipe for it.
Bonus: You can also slip in some chocolate to innovate the traditional kahk, here's a recipe.
Here's another recommendation: chocolate peanut butter shortbread sandwiches. If you want to experiment with confirmed success, you should totally try these out. Simple, predictable and easy to prepare.
There's also no way to go wrong with some good old chocolate chip cookies.
Decorate the house!
It's Eid guys, and the house should look like its Eid! It's another family activity that's bound to be fun.
Lanterns, lamps and fairy lights are your best friends this season, and due to their popularity, they're also quite easy to get. Accent your walls with pretty lights, decorate your home with banners, wall hangings and fresh sheets.
Here's a cool place we found selling lanterns.
Host an online party!
Send an invitation for an online party along with the gift packages — the food and cards — you made. Delivering these presents has never been easier and with a few clicks on one of those ride hailing applications, you're good to go. Minimum interaction, maximum results!
You can play games at the party to make it fun. Play family bingo! You can easily find bingo sheets online, print them out and send them out with your invites. The game can be holiday themed, or around that one family vacation with a lifetime of funny stories, or some actor or movie the family adores — get creative! Here's a website that'll help you play bingo online!
If you have kids around and want to play something that involves them more, consider Pictionary! It's truly a game for all ages, you'll have the best time playing this with the people you love, even if you aren't literally together. Here's a free online Pictionary word generator.
You can also play games like charades, scattergorries or name, place, animal and thing! These games die out in our lives as we grow older may be able to help us make the most of our distanced holidays.
Do a photoshoot at home!
Don't worry, we didn't forget — Eid updates on the 'gram are where its at!
It's Eid so you want to get all dressed up, and so does everyone else at home, but what's the point if there are no pictures? And if you're going to show them, then what's the point in not being extra about it?
Here's a guide on how to take striking pictures of yourself at home, all by yourself.
We understand it's a tough spending our third Eid away from the familiar festivities and inside the now-too-familiar home (we're thinking of entirely redoing our home décor after the pandemic, just to mark a visual and notable end to this catastrophe) but as it stands, we can't go out and celebrate just yet. Stay home and stay safe everyone.