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Celebrating Eid al – Adha in the Primary School

Tuesday 15 October 2013, by Christina Valentin

All the versions of this article: [Deutsch] [English]

Eid al-Adha, the Muslim “Festival of the Sacrifice” honors the willingness of the prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his young first-born son Ismail as an act of submission to Allah’s command and his son’s acceptance to being sacrificed, before Allah intervened to provide Abraham with a lamb to sacrifice instead (see Wikipedia for a full description).

On Thursday, October 17, the last school day before the Eid, all the pupils took part in activities to acquaint them with its religious significance, history, stories and legends, as well as associated traditions and customs.

Thursday afternoon was therefore dedicated to various workshop stations, suited to the ages of the children.

In one workshop, the children were asked to build a model of the Ka’aba, the structure housing the sacred Black Stone in Mecca, which is traditionally circled by pilgrims making their hajj (Muslim pilgrimage) to the holy city during the Eid. The children learned about this tradition of prayerful circumambulation by circling their model Ka’aba - both Palestinian and Jewish children! (At the Oasis of Peace Primary School, we want every one to participate in, learn to respect, and feel comfortable with each other’s holidays, though the children are well-aware of which holidays pertain to their own culture and religion.)

Another workshop station gave the children the opportunity to put on the simple white garments traditionally donned by hajjis (pilgrims).

Of course the foremost symbol of the holiday, the sheep, needed to be honored as well, and this was achieved in a workshop in which the children were able to make their own model sheep from cotton wool and recycled cardboard, etc.

At the next station could be seen very quiet, pensive children staring at worksheets of all kinds. This was a word puzzle: the students had to discover hidden words that are associated with the holiday, such as sheep, Mecca, Ka’aba, etc.

Last but not least was a station in which the children sat outdoors with one of the teachers, who told them stories and legends associated with the holiday.

All in all this was a wonderful and informative day for the children, and everyone was enthusiastically taking part in all the different activities. This week, the Muslim children have a school break, since another tradition of the holiday is a big family get-together with lots of good food!


Story and photos: Christina Valentin

Edited by H. Shippin

Portfolio

"Hajjis" Donning clothes for the Hajj In pilgrimage attire Learning about the holiday Children with Raida (teacher) An Eid al-Adha sheep made by the children Word puzzles for the holiday Making a "Ka'aba" The "Ka'aba" is almost ready Children with the "Ka'aba" Holiday word games The audience One of the workshop stations Eid activities at the Primary School

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