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Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Danbury High School     43 Clapboard Ridge Road Danbury, CT 06811     (203) 797-4800

The Hatters' Herald

Eid: the ignored holiday; is an excused absence enough for its national recognition?

Eid-ul-Fitr 2024 moon sighting
Hindustan Times
Eid-ul-Fitr 2024 moon sighting

April 10th, 2024 marked the end of the month of Ramadan and the beginning of the day-long celebration of the Muslim holiday Eid for followers in the U.S. as well as other Muslim countries around the world. Determined by the sighting of the crescent moon marking the start of the month of Shawwal, the holiday consists of prayer services, the exchange of traditional desserts and gifts, festivals, and more (Aljazeera News). Being a holiday very sacred to the Muslim community, many believe their children should be excused from school to engage in the day-long celebration. 

In response to the many protests from those in the Muslim community wishing for a day off on the holiday, in 2015, Waterbury High School was the first in Connecticut to recognize Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha as a valid excuse for students to miss school (CT Examiner). Since then, many other Connecticut high schools including DHS followed their lead. Despite this, many students feel as though an excused absence is not enough and the holiday should be an official day off. 

“The limited knowledge of the holiday prevents me from being able to celebrate.” Amna Noor, a DHS junior who celebrates Eid, commented on the matter and the lack of awareness surrounding the holiday which she believes stems back to the lack of a day off. 

She detailed what a typical Eid celebration would look like for her family, including “a prayer in the morning” which she can not attend because of school, and spending time with “family and friends afterward,” which can also not be done as a result of the homework she spends her time on after school. 

According to Noor, this is why just being permitted an excused absence on the holiday is not enough as while she may not be in school, “everyone else” still is and she will have the burden of celebrating the holiday knowing she “has work that has to be made up.” She explained that “no one really takes it into account how worrying about missing out on [assignments]” can and will disrupt her and other student’s holiday celebrations, adding how “just because it’s a limited number of people who celebrate [Eid],” it doesn’t mean that it shouldn’t be regarded as a holiday that many still do. 

Not only does not having a scheduled day off from school prohibit Noor from correctly celebrating the holiday but also, due to the limited knowledge of the holiday skewing from the lack of a day off, she has to take more time away from celebrating to fulfill her other, outside of school obligations. 

Referencing the volunteering she would typically do after school, Noor explained how “since no one knew that it was Eid, [she] was still expected to come in,” adding how “without a day off from school,” many of her other commitments will never realize that it’s a holiday for her and others and consequently, many need a day off to truly participate in the celebration. 

Noor believes that the best way to both fix the general lack of awareness surrounding the holiday and ensure it can be celebrated just as any other, more well-known religious event, is for schools to institute a day off for every student, not just an excused absence for those who follow the religion, stating how “when we get a day off on Jewish holidays, for example, which many including myself are not often aware of, you’re prompted to figure out why.” 

On a final note, Noor emphasizes the difficulty many including herself face with having to “choose between school and [her] holiday,” comparing it to Christmas where the majority of people have both school and work off, and the holiday can therefore be authentically celebrated. She encourages others to speak out about the restrictions a school day places on their celebrations so one day, Eid will be just as recognizable as an important part of her religion’s culture as Christmas may be to others. 

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About the Contributor
Jenna Saltzman
Jenna Saltzman, Senior Editor
I am currently a Junior and this is my third year writing for Hatters' Herald. I was interested in becoming a writer for this newspaper because I enjoy writing and see it as an opportunity to grow as a writer. Aside from writing, I enjoy swimming on the DHS Girls Swim Team. 

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