How to Celebrate Eid in Switzerland the Algerian Way

This year, Eid, which celebrates the end of the month of Ramadan, will likely be on the 25th of June just before the end of the school year. Ramadan, which takes place the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, begins ten days earlier each year.

Since 2011, this day has fallen during the summer school holidays. As a result, we have spent the last six Eids in Algeria with my parents. Our daughters, aged twelve, nine, six and two, have come to equate this most important Islamic feast with being in Algeria.

Eid is the most special day of the year. It is the day where even feuding people will (half-heartedly) embrace each other. On this day, we get together with family, neighbors and loved ones to share food. This is something we have not been able to do during a whole month of fasting.

To wish someone a happy Eid, we say “Saha Eidkum” or “Eid Mubarak.”

This year will be the first one in ages where we will celebrate Eid in Europe. I considered travelling to Algeria with just my 2-year-old baby to celebrate this special time with my parents. My husband was fine staying behind with the other three girls and said he would join us a week later. However, I felt torn. Whatever decision I made, I would be away from half my family. My mother talked me out of it.

There is no way I could replicate the atmosphere of an Algerian Eid here in Basel, Switzerland. But I could try. Below is how I intend to do it.

Announcing Eid

Announcing the sighting of the moon on TV is invariably followed by a clip of Boualem Titiche playing the ghaita or zorna, a close relative of the bagpipes. Did you know that the ghaita is featured in the Lords of the Rings movie soundtrack?

Baklawa and Eid Pastries

Algerian cuisine has strong Turkish influences. It’ll be easy to buy ready-made baklawa from Turkish shops in neighboring Germany, as well as the ingredients to make some at home. However, with four children, lack of sleep, and a very busy end of school year, I might struggle to find time and energy to bake. I intend to enlist the children’s help for this one.

Algerian pastry for Eid

Eid Wishes

Our two older children have been learning a song about Eid at their Arabic school. They will perform it with their classmates in front of assembled parents.

New Clothes

It is traditional to wear new, nice clothes. Our new clothes have been sitting in our wardrobes for a couple of weeks, and the girls are looking forward to wearing them.


My children love the look and the smell of henna. I am no artist though. They usually end up with a circle in the palm of their hands, surrounded by little dots!

Henna on the eve of Eid

Money Gifts

Money gifts this year will be Swiss Francs or Euros instead of Dinars. I might encourage them to save their money to spend in Algiers. Foreign currency has higher spending power!

Visiting Family

Unfortunately, there is no family nearby. It is at times like these (and many others) that we miss our Algerian friends back in the United Kingdom. We are comforted by the prospect of catching up with family in Algeria during the summer holidays.

Happy Eid Everyone! عيد مبارك و صحة عيدكم

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First Image Credit:

Eid for Kids | Multicultural Kid Blogs

This post is part of the Eid for Kids blog hop from Multicultural Kid Blogs. Read all of the articles below for ideas on celebrating Eid with kids, and don’t miss our blog hop from last year!

Participating Blogs

Babelkid on Multicultural Kid Blogs: How to Celebrate Eid in Switzerland the Algerian Way
A Crafty Arab: Eid Baked Rocks {Tutorial}
Jeddah Mom: Free Printable Eid Envelopes to Gift Your Eidi
Middle Way Mom: 4 Ways to Simplify Your Eid
All Done Monkey: Vegan Dessert for Eid
Our Muslim Homeschool: Children’s Eid Party Ideas

Find even more ideas on our Eid for Kids board on Pinterest:

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Souad is based in Switzerland and is the mother of four multilingual children, who juggle Arabic, French, German and English on a daily basis in.

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