Muslims all around the world, rejoice! This year, Eid al-Fitr is celebrated on 15 June 2018. Eid al-Fitr is one of the important religious holidays commemorated by Muslims. It marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic holy month of sawm or fasting, when Muslims fast from dawn until sunset. Eid al-Fitr was originated by the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is observed on the first of the Islamic month of Shawwal at the end of the month of Ramadan, and celebrated for one, two or three days.
Eid al-Fitr celebration varies from one country to another. In days before Eid al-Fitr, Muslims will clean up and decorate their houses. They will also prepare sumptuous meals for family and friends who will come to visit their houses. In some countries, it is customary to send Eid al-Fitr greeting cards to distant family members, relatives and friends. Muslims will also go back to their hometown to be with their families and friends.
On Eid al-Fitr, Muslims are forbidden to fast. In the morning, they perform a specific prayer, the Eid prayer, in an open field or large hall. The Eid prayer can only be performed in congregation (Jama’at). Muslims often wear their new or best clothes when going to the Eid prayer, and during the trip, they recite an incantation in a low voice. The recitation ceases when they get to the place of the Eid prayer or once the Imam (leader of the Eid prayer) commences activities. After the Eid prayer, a sermon will be conducted, followed by a supplication asking for Allah’s forgiveness, mercy, peace and blessings for all living beings across the world.
Afterwards, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr by visiting their relatives, friends and acquaintances, where they will be served with sweets, snacks, or other special dishes. Eid gifts, known as Eidi, are frequently given at Eid al-Fitr to children and immediate relatives. In some countries, it is mandatory to visit families and relatives on the first day of Eid al-Fitr. In the next one of two days, Muslims can then go to other places such as parks, cinemas, theaters or the beaches.
In some countries, large communal celebrations are also held in homes, community centers or rented halls. The media also cover Eid al-Fitr festivities all day and air various special programs on TV for all age groups.
If you do not celebrate Eid al-Fitr, you could still share the spirit by visiting your friends or colleagues who celebrate it. Who knows, maybe you could get to taste their special snacks or signature dishes! If you plan to visit several places in one day, take care of not eating too much in one place so that you are already full in the next place. In some countries, it is considered impolite to visit a house and not eating there!