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Why Muslim Families Should Celebrate The Islamic New Year

Let us start by a simple personal quiz without the use of google search:  When is the Islamic New Year this year?  What Hijra year will it be?  If you know the answer to those questions, then what about your children do they know them as well?  If you live in a non muslim country […]

Why Muslim Families Should Celebrate The Islamic New Year

Let us start by a simple personal quiz without the use of google search:  When is the Islamic New Year this year?  What Hijra year will it be?  If you know the answer to those questions, then what about your children do they know them as well?  If you live in a non muslim country chances are you lost track of the islamic years.  If you fall under that category then maybe it is time to start celebrating it.
My children went to an islamic school in their primary years, so I decided to quiz them on the Islamic New Year as it is around the corner.  To my dismay, they did not recall what the Islamic New Year was.  In their defense they have not been in the islamic school for over five years.  This reality check made me realize the importance of celebrating the Islamic New Year with the family, making it a tradition from now on.
The Islamic New Year, also called Hijra Year, starts on the evening of October 13, 2015 and falls on October 14, 2015 this year.  It is on the first day of Muharram, when the islamic calendar starts.  It began in 622 AD when the muslims of Mecca migrated to Medina.  Hijra in arabic means migration.  Since the Islamic calendar is a lunar one which is made up of 29 to 30 day months, it is eleven to twelve days shorter then the gregorian solar calendar and therefore changes every year.
Here is another quiz.  Notice anything odd with this photo?
clock-1437
Unlike the gregorian New Year which starts at midnight, the Islamic New Year starts at sunset, Maghreb time.  Check your calendar for sunset time.  Ours will start at 6:20 pm pacific eastern time, which coincides well with an early dinner, ideal for a weekday.
 I have decided to use a gold and silver crescent and star theme to mark that special day.
iny-full_reduced
For the “1437” sign, the numbers were purchased from Michaels.  They had different sizes and material options.  Wood was used here.  The numbers were sprayed with Elmer Glue and pressed on a plate full of gold glitter.  The paper plates and Gold diy (do it yourself) Banner are Eid Creations designs.  For under $20 you have the bulk of the decor.
islamic-new-year-2015-r
Last but not least is the menu.  The beauty of a having a holiday that can take place at different times of the year is that you can adapt the menu to the season.  I might opt for a fall menu made up of pumpkin and potato soup, roasted chicken with rosemary and garlic potatoes, a quick butternut squash ravioli made with wontons, cream sauce and parmesan or I might just pick up my children’s favorite food from a local restaurant.  What will you do for the Islamic New Year this year?