Celebrating Eid? 5 ways to safely enjoy the holiday

(Saffa Khan / For The Times)

The month of Ramadan is traditionally filled with community meals to break the fast, prayers in congregation at mosques and, at the end of about 30 days of fasting from dawn until dusk, Eid, a day of celebration with friends, family and food.

This year, celebrating Eid will require a more strategic approach as social distancing requirements remain in place. If you’re looking for ideas to make the most of your holiday, here are some ways to safely do so.

Get some takeout

You’ve been cooking and making stress-inducing trips to the grocery store to make sure you’ve got a substantial meal on the table each night to break the fast. Traditionally Eid includes a lot of home cooking, but if you’ve been doing it all month, consider treating yourself.

And, a bonus, you can support some L.A. restaurants. Here are all the L.A. restaurants offering takeout right now.

Tea leaf salad at Mutiara Food & Market, a halal Burmese restaurant and market in Inglewood.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

Take in the great outdoors — with your mask on

You might not have had enough energy during the month for recreational activity, but now that some trails and parks have reopened, you can take your celebration outdoors. It may help to walk off that hearty daytime eating — you can do that now.


In Southern California, some hiking trails are open, including at Griffith Park. Beaches in L.A. County, San Diego, Orange, Ventura and Santa Barbara counties are open for active use — surfing, swimming, running and walking. But they are generally closed for activities like sunbathing, gatherings larger than one household and organized sports. Many beach-adjacent parking lots also remain closed.

L.A. County local, community and regional parks are open, as are trails and golf courses that reopened (with safety measures) on May 9. The county also reopened tennis and pickleball courts, archery and shooting ranges, equestrian centers and community gardens on May 13.

You can also visit a botanical garden and scope out this season’s superblooms. While some gardens have stayed open since mid-March, others are reopening — right in time for the holiday weekend.

The Huntington rose garden.
(Tom Carruth)

Head to the movies

Like Christmas, Eid day is often a good day to head to the movies and laze after a holiday feast. Theaters remain closed, but you can find some drive-ins around Southern California.

Here are two:

  • Van Buren Drive-In: 3035 Van Buren Blvd., Riverside; (951) 688-2360
  • Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre, 10798 Ramona Ave., Montclair; (909) 628-0511

Note that the theaters have some guidelines. The precautions at the Van Buren include the following:

  • Movies must be watched from inside the car. Lawn-chair and truck-bed viewing are prohibited.
  • Masks are required when visiting the snack bar or bathrooms.
  • Social distancing guidelines are in force at all times.

With its ranch-themed snack stands and prairie sunsets, the Van Buren Drive-In has been a SoCal tradition for 56 years. Beginning Friday, it joins the Mission Tiki Drive-In Theatre as two outdoor venues available for movie-goers.

Have a virtual party

You’re probably a Zoom expert now — and Eid is a good day to put those skills to use. You can host a virtual party as a way to chat not just with those nearby, but with friends and family across the globe. Here’s your guide to hosting a virtual party — including game night tips, karaoke and more.

And while you’re at it, you can try out some California-centric Zoom backgrounds.

Decor is set up for the Eid-al-Fitr holiday, including presents.
Decor is set up for the Eid-al-Fitr holiday, including presents.
(Iram Shaikh / iShaikh Photography)

And if you really need to see others — do so safely

It’s challenging to skip out on the gatherings on one of the year’s only two Islamic holidays. While gatherings are not permitted, here’s what experts say about safely interacting in small numbers:

Your faces must stay covered, and you have to keep a minimum of six feet between you. Ideally, you should be outdoors, where there’s better ventilation and the virus is less space-constrained.

The main thing is that you have to agree to follow those rules and best practices to minimize the risk. Something like putting sanitized lawn chairs at a minimum of six feet apart on your front lawn or going for a walk while wearing face coverings and maintaining that personal space bubble could be acceptable if — big if — all involved are willing to strictly obey all social distancing and hygiene guidelines, said Paula Cannon, a virologist and professor of molecular microbiology and immunology at the Keck School of Medicine at USC.

If beaches and businesses are reopening, does that mean I can visit my friends and family now? The new rules on socializing during social distancing.