Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of fasting and is celebrated by Muslims all across the globe. Eid al-Fitr, also called the “Festival of breaking fast” celebrations will begin on May 23 and continue until May 24, however, the actual date may vary as per the moon sighting. The start date of any lunar Hijri month varies according to the sighting of the new moon by religious authorities, and since Eid al-Fitr also marks the first day of Shawwal month, it is celebrated on different days across regions.
It is widely believed that Prophet Muhammad got the first revelation of the Holy Quran during the holy month of Ramadan. Eid al-Fitr marked the end of fasting from dawn to dusk during Ramadan and the beginning of the Shawwal month. Eid al-Fitr is also celebrated to pay respect to Allah for providing strength and endurance during the month-long fasting rituals.
Muslims across the globe celebrate Eid al-Fitr by taking part in prayers that are followed by a sermon soon after dawn. The day continues with devotees wearing new clothes, exchanging greetings by saying “Eid Mubarak”, which means “have a blessed Eid”, and also distributing sweets. Children receive gifts and money from elders which is called Eidi. The day is incomplete without a widespread food menu containing a variety of dishes including Biryani, Haleem, Nihari, kebabs and a dessert like Seviyan. As one of the five pillars of Islam, Zakat or giving alms to the poor is also practised on Eid.
What is Eid al-Fitr?
Eid or Eid al-Fitr or Meethi Eid marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a period of fasting, kindness and good deeds. It is an important religious holiday for Muslims and when they are not permitted to fast.
Eid also marks the beginning of the month of Shawwal, which starts with a feast to end the period of the month-long fasting. Some Muslims, however, do observe six days of fasting during Shawwal (the day after Eid) as this period is considered equivalent to fasting all year round.
It is a belief that good deeds are rewarded 10 times in Islam and hence the 30-day fasting period of Ramadan brings peace, harmony and prosperity to all those who believe and devote themselves to the religious cause.
Is there another Eid celebration that occurs in the calendar?
Muslims also celebrate Eid al-Adha that follows soon after Eid al-Fitr. The day revolves around Allah appearing in Ibrahim’s dream to ask him to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, as a sign of his faith. This folklore is similar to the Christian and Jewish stories when God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac but later spared him from doing so.
On Eid al-Adha, Muslims traditionally sacrifice animals and the meat is then divided among family, friends and the needy.
This year, Eid al-Adha will begin on the evening of July 30, 2020, and ends on the evening of July 31, 2020.