Celebrating Eid Festival at Ilham Child Care
Eid-al-Fitr, also known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri (or Hari Raya Puasa), is the first of two Eids in the Islamic lunar calendar. It is the religious holiday that marks the end of the sunrise-to-sunset fast during Ramadhan. For this reason, Eid Festival is also called the “Festival of Breaking the Fast.” Muslims around the world celebrate Eid with their families, friends, and communities.
To prepare for the celebration, families will start to buy new clothes for the family, preorder or prepare to cook up a feast, and spring clean their houses. On the morning of the Eid Festival, people wear their new clothes and join prayers at mosques. They also visit relatives and friends to celebrate the holiday. Food is an essential part of Eid celebrations and tables at Muslim homes are filled with various delicious dishes such as lontong, ketupat and nasi padang.
This year, the Eid Festival was celebrated in Singapore on May 13th and at Ilham Child Care, we marked it in our own unique way for our Ilhamites. The Eid celebrations were an essential part of our inclusive curriculum, as part of cultural awareness. Just like how we celebrated Chinese New Year and Deepavali, this time, our students learnt more about Ramadhan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri through developmentally appropriate activities such as art and craft, sing-alongs, storytelling, fun games and more.
Hari Raya Aidilfitri is the time of contemplation, spiritual reflection, forgiveness, and feats with loved ones. The festival revolves around expressing gratitude to God following the previous month of contemplation and abstention.
Here is how we celebrated this important holiday at Ilham Child Care Centre.
Getting Things Organised for Hari Raya
Our teachers worked as a team to organise everything for Eid Festival celebrations at Ilham. They prepared the decorations in advance. Introducing the children to different aspects of the Eid Festival was an excellent opening for the approaching holiday.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and social distancing guidelines, our in-house Hari Raya celebrations were held in individual classrooms this year.
Despite containing celebrations within individual classrooms, the excitement at Ilham among children and staff approaching Eid was almost palpable. The key preparation for the celebration involved decorating the centre with Eid-inspired decorative ornaments and children’s art and craftwork.
Art and Craft Fun
Apart from practising their fine motor and developing creativity, Hari Raya art and craft activities were an excellent way for our students to learn about Eid Festival and its importance in Islam.
Music as an Important Part of Hari Raya
Our students also enjoyed sing-along sessions and listening to Malay festive songs. The kids loved it, some of them knowing every word to the most played songs. These sing-alongs helped kids understand the importance of Hari Raya Aidilfitri and how Muslims celebrate it.
Games and Activities
Ilhamites were particularly excited for various Eid-inspired games their teachers planned and organised. They all took part in age-appropriate games and the Hari Raya colouring contest.
The children got overly excited tasting the different Kuehs, traditional Malay cakes. Before they tasted cakes, we allocated the children into groups and fixed puzzles of Kueh pictures and they had a lot of fun solving them.
They also took a lot of pleasure from dressing up in Malay ethnic wear (something we practice during significant holidays and celebrations) and having photo sessions fully dressed up! At the same time, they learnt about the Festival of Breaking the Fast and its meaning.
Learning More About Hari Raya Aidilfitri
During circle time and other classroom activities, teachers encouraged discussion about the Hari Raya celebration. Children were asked whether they think visiting their relatives and friends is important during holidays. They also shared whether they visit their relatives during special events, how their families celebrate important holidays and why do Muslims celebrate Hari Raya Aidilfitri.
They learnt about important traditions linked to this holiday. Preschoolers shared their experiences, describing how their families celebrate Eid-al-Fitr.
The Importance of Cultural Education
Our kids are growing up in a multicultural society, so exposing them to other cultures from an early age is an excellent way to understand diversity and learn to respect other people’s traditions.
Our inclusive curriculum aims to instil a deeper appreciation and understanding of Singapore’s diverse society and help the young students develop into sensitive individuals.
All in all, children and staff enjoyed Eid celebrations at Ilham Child Care Centre. The kids loved playing all sorts of games, wearing traditional Malay clothes and tasting Kuih treats.
We are grateful for the parents helping out in preparing the Eid festival celebration at Ilham Child Care.
What do you think about our efforts to celebrate Ramadhan and Hari Raya Aidilfitri? We would love to hear how your family celebrates these important holidays.