Mohammed Ahmed, United States (12 to 14)
All holidays are fun, but we have our preferences. My name is Mohammed Ahmed and I am 13 years old. My favorite Holiday is Eid Al-Fitr, a festival celebrated by Muslims that marks the end of Ramadan. Ramadan is an Islamic month in which Muslims fast (refraining from food, drink, and any kind of wrongdoing) from pre-dawn to sunset and have special night prayers. Fasting in Ramadan teaches Muslims about self-control, tells us what real hunger is, and serves as a reminder to always give to and be kind to the financially challenged and to constantly be grateful to Allah (“God” in Arabic) for what we have.
On the day of Eid Al-Fitr, we have Eid Prayers, in which we go to the Eidgah and pray in the congregation. An Eidgah is a large, outdoor field in which Muslims pray Eid Prayers. It is only used for Eid and not regular prayers. My local mosque rents 2 soccer fields for the Eid prayers. The men and kids pray in one section, while the ladies pray in a separate area. After the prayer, the Imam (the leader of the worship; in other words, a Priest for Muslims) delivers a sermon. This sermon is in Arabic and English. It is first given in Arabic because Arabic is the official language of Islam. After, it is translated into English so that the majority of listeners understand the lecture. These sermons usually remind the people to remember and worship God, be good to their neighbors, relatives, friends, family, and anybody we meet.
Another major topic Imams mention is to spread peace and happiness wherever we go. To wrap up the sermon, the Imam wishes us a happy Eid. We also give to a mandatory charity before the prayer. This charity is called “Fitr” and is given to the poor and needy. We have social gatherings with our friends, where we talk and eat together.
My most favorite part of the festival is the gifts. Family members give to one another as a sign of love. We also make unique food dishes that are designated only for the occasion! In past Eids, I have prayed Eid Salah at the Eidgah, listened to the Imam’s sermon, headed over to my friends’ houses, wolfed down the scrumptious dishes my Mom makes, and received gifts! Over the years, I have gotten an RC Plane, a Drone, and a Microsoft Surface 3 from my parents. I have also gotten a lot of other things that I can’t recall!
When I grow up, I plan to gift my parents on Eid as well in exchange for love.