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RAMADAN AND EID-AL-FITR
 

ABOUT RAMADAN AND EID-AL-FITR
Ramadan, known as the holy month, is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. During Ramadan, adult Muslims fast, not eating or drinking between sunrise and sunset, and spend many hours in prayer. At the end of Ramadan, signaled by the appearance of the new crescent moon in the sky, fasting ends and the festival of Eid-al-Fitr begins. Children look forward to wearing new clothes and shoes, eating special foods with family and friends, receiving gifts of coins from relatives, and perhaps even visiting fairgrounds. Although there is celebrating and fun during the three-day festival, donating food to those in need is also an important part of Eid-al-Fitr.
 
NEW MOON IN THE SKY

Invite your child to try one of these art activities.
Using a white crayon, draw a crescent moon on a piece of white paper. As you color in the shape of the moon, be sure to press down hard with the crayon. Give your child some black tempera paint mixed with a little water. Then show him how to paint over your drawing to reveal a new crescent moon in the black night sky.
Have your child glue a crescent moon shape cut from aluminum foil onto a piece of black construction paper. If you wish, give him a few silver star stickers to add to his picture.
 

NEW CLOTHES COLLAGE
Let your child look through store catalogs and advertisements to find pictures of children wearing new clothes. Have her cut or tear out the pictures she likes and glue them onto a piece of construction paper to make a collage of clothes she thinks would be fun to wear for the Eid-al-Fitr celebration.

 
FESTIVAL COIN BANK

Invite your child to make a bank for holding coins he receives as gifts. Rinse and dry a small milk carton and staple the top closed. Cut a coin slot in one of the slanted sides. Have your child cover the carton with tempera paint mixed with a small amount of dishwashing liquid (to help the paint adhere). After the paint dries, help your child count his coins before he drops them into his bank. Encourage him to use some of his savings for a charitable cause.
 
COUNTING TO EID-AL-FITR
Young children always look forward to the festival of Eid-al-Fitr. At the beginning of Ramadan, mark the day that Eid-al-Fitr begins on a calendar. Then each day, invite your child to attach a sticker to the calendar. When she has done so, count together how many days remain until Eid-al Fitr.
 
SHARING AND CARING

During Eid-al-Fitr, families remember the needy by sharing food. Let your child help you put together a basket or bag of non-perishable food items. Then together take the items to a local food bank or family shelter. You might want to check ahead of time to find out the kinds of foods that are particularly needed.
 
RAMADAN IS COMING SOON
Tune: "Mary Had a Little Lamb"
 
Ramadan is coming soon,
Coming soon, coming soon,
Ramadan is coming soon,
Time to fast and pray.
 
When we see the thin new moon,
Thin new moon, thin new moon,
When we see the thin new moon,
We'll celebrate and play.
Heather McPhail
 
FESTIVAL FOOD TASTING

Try one or both of these snack ideas.
If possible, take your child to a Middle Eastern restaurant at Eid-al-Fitr to sample a few holiday foods.
Serve your child fruit topped with chopped dates and almonds and flaked coconut.