We're baaaack! After a truly enjoyable break of not paying attention to a calendar and what "should" be done, our family is off of winter break and back to the grind. Somehow having a schedule does make me more productive and here we are back to researching holidays. First one for 2014 is Mawlid an Nabi which is an Islamic holiday that celebrates the birthday of the prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam. It is fixed as the 12th day of the month of Rabi I in the Islamic calendar. Mawlid means birthday of a holy figure and al-Nabi means prophet. This day is celebrated by many Muslims throughout the Middle East but not in Saudi Arabia or certain sects of Islam. This is a super easy holiday to explain because the kids know and love birthdays. So a birthday for a founder of a world religion was super easy to grasp.
I read that this holiday, like many Muslim holidays is celebrated by doing charity work or good deeds for others. This led me to a craft idea I saw on crayola.com, which was to create a good deed calendar. The boys do a chocolate advent calendar every year leading up to Christmas. This is a similar idea except behind the doors is something nice you can do for someone else. So I had my 4 and 6 year old each make a small calendar with five doors and in those doors five good deeds. It's a fun craft and a nice way to remind us to be nice- especially when the weather is dreary and chilly and we may not be moving around enough and feeling not so nice.
- Two pieces of paper
- Something to color or decorate paper with (crayons, paint, markers etc)
- glue or tape
- First take the top sheet of paper that will contain the "doors" and make the openings. For the kids and I we folded the paper in different spots and made our cuts so that when reopened it looked like a little flap that could open and close. (Repeat for as many doors as you would like)
- When finished lay cut paper over the bottom paper and glue or tape together.
- Have children think of nice things they could do behind each door and have them write it or help then write down.
- Close all flaps and decorate the paper as you wish.
- Our final step was to swap papers so that each could do the tasks their brother had thought of.
For our food we made date candy. I like the recipe because it sticks with my clean eating resolution for the New Year. Dates are considered a delicacy in many Muslim countries and are often associated with celebration so this recipe was primed to be a winner for us.
- 1 cup of medjool dates
- 2 tablespoons of water
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon cardamom seed
- 1/2 cup of fresh ground walnuts
- warm honey
- fine ground almonds
- blend dates and water to make a paste like mixture.
- Put walnuts in a food processor or blender to make into walnut meal
- Combine dates and walnut meal and add cardamon and cinnamon
- Roll the mixture into small 1 inch diameter balls (if too runny add more walnut meal)
- Drizzle a little honey over the top of each ball
- Roll in the fine ground almonds
These went immediately after we made them with requests to do it again tomorrow. It was so tasty and a very sweet celebration treat for the Prophet of Islam's birthday. Enjoy Mawlid an Nabi and Happy New Year everyone!