This Picnic DIY Is Ideal for Summer Gatherings, From Eid to Labor Day
Easier (and safer) than a buffet.
Published May 4, 2021 12:20 AM
Jomana Siddiqui started her online stationery company, ModernEID, in 2011 to create party goods and other celebration products that serve underrepresented American Muslims. Her brand, which makes everything from dry-erase advent signs to calligraphy gift tags, has since collaborated with Macy’s, Saks Fifth Avenue, Jet.com, and Walmart.com. She is also the voice behind A Happy Blog.
The end of Ramadan is marked by Eid al-Fitr, the celebration of breaking the fast. It begins at sunset on the night of the first sighting of the crescent moon (this year it’s May 12) and usually involves attending community prayers, making acts of charity, and meeting up with friends and family to eat and exchange presents. Eid al-Adha is observed approximately two months later (July 19) and commemorates the sacrifice offered by Abraham to God.
With COVID restrictions still very much in play, people might not feel comfortable gathering indoors or inside at a restaurant, so what better than a socially distanced outdoor brunch. Here’s how to create a festive (and safe) picnic setup for Eid and all your warm-weather get-togethers beyond.
Ditch the Shared Platters
Buffets and large grazing boards were nice pre-pandemic, but this year I’ll be providing individual grazing boxes for the meal, dressed up with gold foil stickers, that way my guests will know they’re the only ones touching their food. I’ll be sourcing mine from Honey & Hive Boards, a local catering service in Orange County, California, that makes special pork-free charcuterie options, but you can easily DIY your own in advance with the essentials (fruits, nuts, cheese, etc.). Also on the menu: Levantine ma’amoul cookies (a traditional shortbread treat), bubbly lemonade, and individual cones filled with more nuts and dates at each place setting.
Double Up on the Greenery
Embrace being outdoors by topping the table with long olive branches. Save any scraps for a simple wreath craft that can serve as additional decor. Just wrap an embroidery hoop with the cuttings, securing them with green wire or fishing line, and then tie a banner to the form with metallic string.
Opt for Easy Cleanup
I sourced these scalloped plates that only look like porcelain (they’re actually paper). When you’re filled up from food and good conversation, the last thing you want is to be bogged down with packing everything up, so this makes it all a breeze. Layering two sizes elevates the casual setup and gives people room to spread out their snacks. Crescent moon–shaped and “Happy Eid” drink stirrers complete the mood.
Streamline the Goodies
Gift giving is a big part of Eid. I like a cohesive display with timely wrapping paper and calligraphy tags—touches that make the whole day feel more customized and special. Psst: Save your smallest bits of olive branch scraps and slip a few of them through your ribbon. Happy Eid!