Ramadan 2016 – Post #1: Welcoming Ramadan

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It’s been a few months since the end of Ramadan, and I finally have some time to post about our experience this year. My daughter was 2.5 years old this Ramadan, and the next series of posts will cover what we did this year. Please use the “Ramadan” tag to find previous posts about Ramadan. I hope these posts are inspiring and practical.

The night before Ramadan started, we decorated our house. It was pretty simple (my husband does not like commercialism and fought me on having a banner…he won, this year, anyway).The minor change in decor definitely contributed to the excitement. I wanted to tangibly signify to my daughter that there was something different about this time.

We made paper lanterns using previously painted pages of paper (I often hang onto her art and re-purpose it) and by decorating new sheets of coloured paper with markers and stickers. My daughter takes a lot of pride in her lanterns, constantly making comments like “I made the yellow one and Momma made the green one.”

We hung these lanterns on a long horizontal string in our downstairs bay window and actually modified our string of lanterns at the end of the month and re-used them for Eid. We also added some curled ribbons to this lantern (sold by Discovery Dome) and hung it in our entrance. Other interesting additions to the lantern could include loose parts like beads, straws, feathers, chimes, and nuts and bolts.

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Again, pulling on the ribbons allowed my daughter to further explore concepts of “springiness” i.e. basic physics

As we decorated, I spoke to her about Ramadan and we listened to some Ramadan Nasheeds, our favourite is “We’ve Scanned the Sky” by Dawud Wharnsby Ali.

We read the book “Welcome Ramadan,” even though I’m not a huge fan of this book, it spoke to some of the differences that accompany this month. You can read a past review I’ve written about the book here.

I showed my daughter the calendar (which I will post about next) and explained how it would work.

As the years pass, I hope to have some more philosophical exchanges about the value and opportunity that is Ramadan. If you have older children, please refer to last year’s posts on Ramadan as they were written for a more general audience and include deeper content.

 

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