Everything you need to know about Eid-al-Fitr

Every year across the globe Muslims gather together to celebrate Eid as the month-long fasting of Ramadan comes to an end.

Eid al-Fitr translates from Arabic as the “festival of breaking the fast” and involves a range of celebrations as friends, family and the entire Muslim community come together.

The exact date of Eid is yet to be determined as it depends on the lunar cycle but we know it is likely to be on one of two days at the end of June.

Here is everything you need to know about Eid-al-Fitr:

When is Eid?

Eid will take place on either 25 or 26 June. As the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle, the day is set when a new moon is sighted – but there is no exact definition of what this means. 

There is little agreement within the faith about whether the moon must be spotted with the naked eye or not and whether it should be seen in the country where the celebrations are happening.

The result of the varying interpretations of the rule is that Eid falls on a different day depending on what sect, mosque or region you are in.

As there are either 354 or 355 days in the Islamic year, the day that Eid falls on in the Georgian calendar changes annually.

Why are Muslims celebrating?

Muslims have been fasting and going without food and water between sunrise and sunset for an entire month. As the days are longer during the summer, Muslims in the UK are fasting for 19 hours a day.

Fasting during the holy month of Ramadan is one of the five pillars of Islam and Muslims believe that it was during this month the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Muhammad. The end of Ramadan is greeted with the celebration of Eid-al-Fitr.

How do Muslims celebrate Eid?

Traditionally, Eid is celebrated for three days and is a national holiday in Muslim countries. In the UK most people tend to celebrate for a day and will take a day off work and school.

Like with most holidays, people celebrate differently, but Muslims will gather together at the mosque for a prayer in the morning and then spend the day with friends and family.

As it’s the first day for a month where food can be eaten during daylight hours, more often than not a lot of it is served up during the celebrations!

What is the difference in Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha?

There are two Eids every year. Eid-al-Fitr translates to “festival of breaking the fast” and marks the end of the month of Ramadan, whereas Eid-al-Adha, which takes place two months later, is the festival which coincides with the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.

It is also known as the “sacrifice feast” and honours Prophet Abraham’s sacrifice of his son Ishmael, as an act of submission to God’s command.

How to wish someone a nice Eid

The phrase commonly used by Muslims is “Eid Mubarak”, which is Arabic for blessed Eid.

Those who are celebrating will greet each other with this phrase throughout the day. 

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