Muslims across the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr after the month-long fast of Ramadan comes to a close.
On the day of Eid Muslims greet each other by saying “Eid Mubarak”.
Because the timing of Eid al-Fitr is based on the Islamic lunar calendar, it can be difficult to predict when the festival will take place.
When the new moon appears over Saudi Arabia, the Islamic community break into colorful celebrations, throwing food festivals, performing music and spending time with friends and family.
What is Eid al-Fitr?
The arabic name Eid al-Fitr translates to “festival of the breaking of the fast”.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, and the beginning of the Islamic month of Shawwal.
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and marks the month in which the Quran was first revealed.
Muslims spend the month fasting from dawn until sunset.
When is Eid al-Fitr observed?
The end of Ramadan is based on the Islamic lunar calendar, so it can be difficult to predict.
Eid al-Fitr is observed when the first new moon is sighted.
This can lead to the festival being celebrated on different days in different parts of the world.
While some Muslims wait to be able to see the moon themselves, many either use the calculated time of the new moon, or base it on the declaration made in Saudi Arabia.
This year, Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday, July 27, that Eid al-Fitr would begin on July 28.
How is Eid al-Fitr celebrated?
On the day of Eid, Muslims gather at mosques in the morning to perform the Eid prayer, before holding family gatherings and visiting friends.
Muslims share feasts and sweets to mark the end of the fasting period, and greet each other by saying “Eid Mubarak” – which roughly translates as “happy Eid” or “blessed Eid.”
The celebrations last for three days, and are seen as a time of forgiveness and of giving thanks to Allah for helping people to complete their spiritual fasting.
Many Muslims display this thanksgiving by giving donations and food to those less fortunate than themselves.
In most Muslim countries, the three days of Eid are observed as public and school holiday.
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