This Eid, I’ve designed an Eid theme inspired by my South Asian heritage. I call it, “Deck the Camels.” In India/Pakistan decorating camels is a really big thing. Just the way people wear new clothes and dress up on Eid, camel owners try to make their camels look extra special for Eid. Sometimes dressing up a camel is a marketing ploy. Apparently, the more decked out the camel is on Eid, the greater the chance little kids will be drawn to it and want a ride on it. And of course, since it’s Eid, parents will almost always give in, making the camel owner some money!
You’ll notice camels are always decked out in pompoms and macrame. You’ll also notice that pompoms and macrame are both very trendy right now in North America. For me, this made them the perfect choice for this year’s Eid.
According to Wikipedia, macrame was introduced to the Western world through the Spanish Moors. The Spanish word, macrame, comes from the Arabic word, “migrama”, which means “fringe.” It referred to the fringe placed on camels and horses to protect them from flies.
In lieu of a banner with an Eid greeting, I’ve hung up a colourful macrame wall hanging for a modern look. Making the wall hanging was a fun project because Mamma taught me how to weave it, and she learned how to macrame through her mom. Not only was it a nice mother-daughter bonding opportunity but a great way to learn about my cultural heritage. Incorporating cultural heritage into my Eid theme makes this Eid all the more special.
I made my drinks station my focal point and hung my macrame there. Keeping with the pompom and macrame theme, I made pompom drink stirrers for my mocktails. It was a simple matter of glue gunning pompoms onto wooden kebob sticks.
When I was like 4 or 5 years old, eidi money was often in the form of loonies and toonies. I actually like that tradition for young kids (like under 8 years old.) I just loved the way coins jingled and bills could never do that. We’re only expecting about 6 kids this year for Eid (three of whom are my own nieces and nephew) and since they’re all quite young I’m handing out loonies and toonies. I think they’ll really enjoy counting all the coins. To keep with the party theme, I’ve made little pompom bags for them to carry around their gold and silver. For an added fun touch, I’m mixing some chocolate coins into the bags. Money and chocolate? It’s a win-win.
To make the pompom bags, I purchased small muslin drawstring bags, available in packs of 8. Then using a glue gun, I used small pompoms to create designs such as the phulkari, triangles, and a basic garland.
Of course a celebration wouldn’t be a celebration without cake! I ordered two buttercream cakes from Loblaws and embellished them on my own. I asked the bakery to hold off on the icing border. Instead, I made my own border with ribbon, and then I glued some pompoms every 2 or so inches onto the ribbon. I traced the silhouette of a camel onto some cardstock and used markers to make its pompom and macrame dress. Then, I just taped a jumbo popsicle stick on the camel and stuck in the cake.
For a variation of the cake topper, I used pompom lace (available at fabric stores) and kebob sticks to make a garland.
With a few touches of pompom and macrame here and there, the house looks festive and we’re excited to celebrate Eid!
Photos: Manal Aman