My Eid: 3 Different People, 3 Different Eid Celebrations
My Eid: 3 Different People, 3 Different Eid Celebrations
Three very different Saudis share what they each love most about this special time of year
To mark the festive period, we spoke to three different and influential Saudis about their first memories of Eid, how they celebrate and what is most important to them during this time.
Although each person has a different upbringing, experiences and perspectives, one common theme is seen throughout - family, and the importance of spending time with loved ones.
Gamer, YouTuber and content creator
Fireworks would have to be the earliest memory I have of Eid. It’s the one thing I remember vividly from my childhood, and I still look forward to the dazzling display every year. The festiveness of Eid feels incomplete without it.
There are other moments from my childhood I cherish, such as receiving Eidiya from my late grandfather. He would give us one, five or 10 riyals on Eid, and it was the most significant gift for us – to the extent that we once protested when he didn’t give it to us! After he passed away, I continued this custom by giving Eidiya to other family
members, and I hope my future children and grandchildren will keep this tradition alive.
My Eid preparations actually begin before Ramadan with a diet. At the end of Ramadan, I do some shopping and go for fittings to see if it worked. There’s also putting together gifts for everyone in the family, such as Eidiyas and sweets packed in little boxes.
For me, Eid is about being with family. We all gather at my grandmother’s house in Makkah; this is where all our relatives who live in other cities visit during Eid. The day begins with Eid prayer. Then we head home to have breakfast together. On Eid, we always eat kabdah (liver) for breakfast.
We also celebrate the day by dancing and singing, and that’s when I truly feel the joy of Eid. At noon, we sleep and wake up late at night. The second day of Eid is when we join the public celebrations, going from Makkah to Jeddah Corniche.
This year, Eid will be different. I’ll be spending it in Japan. It’s not an Islamic country, so I’m curious to see how Muslims there celebrate. I’m planning to find Muslim communities, to see how they mark the day.
I work as a YouTuber and content creator. Throughout Ramadan, I try to have more related themes in my videos, incorporating specific elements into the background such as lanterns.
My advice to everyone is to enjoy Eid to the fullest. It only comes twice a year, so go out and celebrate. There are lots of events in Saudi and newly-opened places that have made Eid more exciting. Aside from the usual favourites like Al-Balad and Jeddah Corniche, we now have new places to explore, such as Jeddah Art Promenade, Islamic Arts Biennale and the Yacht Marina area. So, don’t sit at home; try to shift away from your usual routine, go live and don’t miss out on
Alanoud Al Hejailan
Entrepreneur, educational content creator and mum of two
My earliest memory of Eid? I’d say waking up with my siblings and getting dressed in new clothes, then gathering with family and wishing everyone a joyful Eid. I also remember visiting different family members at their homes, getting candy along the way and Eidiya[money given to children during Eid] from the adults. It was a wonderful time of connection and strong bonds. In fact, the one custom from my childhood I still follow, and would love my children to continue, is visiting family. Eid is about taking the time to be with your loved ones – especially the elders – and to wish them a happy Eid. Another custom I appreciate is Eid prayer and then having breakfast together.
The thing I look forward to the most on Eid is being with my children and experiencing joy and excitement through their eyes. When Eid comes around, we decorate the house with lights and put some gifts out the night before. We also make sure the children have new outfits, which helps to highlight the festive nature of Eid to them. Alesayi Kids is a great store for Eid clothes. When it comes to my personal preparations, I like to get my nails done the night before, and my advice to anyone thinking of doing the same: book all hair and nail appointments in advance, as Eid – and the days leading up to it – can get very busy. Also, if you need to order anything last minute, apps are the best way to go.
I believe people have been celebrating Eid more festively recently. Many families are realising the importance of having their kids love and appreciate this special day. With time, I feel that Eid will become even more creative and festive in the kingdom.
Since Eid is all about family, I usually stay in Jeddah to celebrate with loved ones. In fact, most of my family members also stay for Eid, so that we can be together over the holidays. The day starts with prayer, then khutbah (a sermon), and finally breakfast. You definitely appreciate breakfast on Eid after having fasted for a whole month, and my two favourite places for that first morning meal after Ramadan are Sucre de Nada and Ms. Môh. We then head home to be with family, and to rest. After Asr prayer, we visit different family members to wish them a happy Eid, and end our day at my in-laws for dinner and fun with the kids. There, we unwrap our gifts and give the children their Eidiyas.
I believe it’s important for children to know and appreciate their heritage. With my brand Dreamrock and related projects, we focus on making sure that our music and animations look, sound and feel locally-relevant – from the characters’ clothing, to the background and decor.
Western media is good at portraying their religious and cultural celebrations in a festive manner, which shapes children’s perspectives. Using that same approach, we’ve created an Eid animated cartoon and
music video to instil the love of Eid in our children.
The artist behind AlUla’s iconic pyramid
installation and its bright pink passage
My first memory of Eid is from my childhood in a small village in Al Baha. I remember performing Eid prayers in a small mosque, then visiting homes to receive gifts and sweets – starting from the nearest to the mosque, all the way to the last house in the village. Eid is not just about celebrations; it’s also a time of joy, connection and treasured memories.
On Eid, my family and loved ones usually go to an esteraha, a place we rent for the day. We cook, play with the children and hand out gifts. I believe these traditions will never change. After all these years, my father’s place still feels like a refuge, and I hope to one day recreate this same feeling of home and connection.
I travel to Mecca to celebrate Eid. Whenever I’m in Riyadh or Jeddah, I usually travel to spend the holidays with my family.
My favourite dish on Eid is a homemade bread made by my mother. It originates from the south of Saudi, and my mom adds corn flour to her version – just to give it a bit of crunch and extra flavour. It’s usually served with local ghee and honey, and one bite brings back happy memories.
I think my cultural background and traditions have influenced my perspective on art. Most of my artworks are related to light in one way or another, resembling fireworks on Eid. I translate light into joy, which I get to witness first-hand through people’s reactions when interacting my work.
My Eid experience has changed over time. Living in big cities like Jeddah and Riyadh, Eid celebrations feel different with our contemporary lifestyles. They used to be more intimate, time spent mostly with family. Today, however, Eid is more of a public celebration – still beautiful in its own way, and made possible by different initiatives and efforts by our government.
My tip on celebrating Eid in Mecca is to visit the Holy Mosque. Eid prayer there is indescribable. People from all walks of life gather, many don new clothes, and the atmosphere is one of calm, prayer, and gratitude; it’s truly an amazing feeling.