Celebrating Eid Ul Fitr
Eid ul Fitr, which means the “festival of breaking the fast,” is a Muslim festival that symbolizes the conclusion of the month of Ramadan. Muslims all over the world get together to celebrate this three-day festival that starts depending on the first observation of the Eid moon. The 2023 Eid al-Fitr date will begin on the evening of 21 April and end on the evening of 23 May. However, these dates may vary.
Eid translates to “feast” or “festival” in Arabic. In the Islamic calendar, there are two most significant Eid every year, namely “Eid ul Fitr” and “Eid al Adha,” which come in the earlier and later part of the year. The Eid ul Fitr is also called the “Lesser” or “smaller Eid” because celebrations take place only for three days. However, Eid al-Adha is called the “greater Eid” because the festival lasts about four days.
Eid ul Fitr 2023 is a religious holiday that is celebrated all over the world by Muslims to signify the end of dawn-to-sunset and a month-long Ramadan fasting. In the month of Shawwal, this religious Eid is the only day Muslims are not allowed to fast. There might be variations in the date for the beginning of any Lunar Hijri based on when the local religious authorities have sighted the new Eid moon. Therefore, there might be changes in the day of celebration in each locality.
Eid ul Fitr is believed to be originated from the Islamic Prophet Muhammad. According to the traditions, the festival began in Medina after Muhammad migrated from Mecca. The Prophet’s well-known companion narrated that when Muhammad reached Medina, the people celebrated two specific days when people were entertained with merriment and recreation. At this, the Prophet stated that God had fixed two days for all the festivities: Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha.
Celebration of Eid al-Fitr
Eid ul Fitr celebrates two or three days, including special prayers in the morning. Eid ul Fitr has a specific Islamic prayer (salat), which consists of two rakats (units). This is usually performed in a large hall or an open field. It is also sometimes presented in a congregation and features six more Takbirs. Friends, family, and strangers will greet each other with “Eid Mubarak” wishes 2023, meaning “Blessed Eid.” Gifts are given to children and people in need, while sweet dishes are made at home. In addition to these Eid al-Fitr celebrations, Muslims are encouraged to seek forgiveness and to forgive people. Based on the country, practices may vary.
In countries with a large Muslim population, the day is a national holiday. Offices, businesses, and schools are closed so neighbors, friends, and family can enjoy this festival together and celebrate. In the U.K. and the U.S., Muslims usually request a day off from work or school to spend time with their family or friends. In countries like Pakistan and Egypt, houses would be decorated with twinkling lights, lanterns, and flowers. Special food items would be made, and friends and family are invited to the celebration. In many countries, malls would be decorated, and there would be special Ramadan markets where people would rush to buy gifts for their families.
Eid ul Fitr traditionally begins at sunset, on the night when the first crescent moon is observed. After the 29th day of the previous lunar month, if the moon is not sighted due to problems like a dense cloudy sky, the celebration takes place the following day. Depending on the country, Eid ul Fitr 2023 will be celebrated for one to three days. A specific prayer is nominated on this particular day while fasting on the celebration day is forbidden. As an act of charity, before performing the “Eid Prayer,” money is given to the needy and the poor.
Celebration of Eid al-Adha
Also known as the “feast of the sacrifice,” Eid al-Adha comes at the end of the Hajj, the annual pilgrimage millions of Muslims go every year to Mecca in Saudi Arabia. The purpose of this festival is to remember the submission and devotion of the Prophet Ibrahim to God. During this festival, the essential parts are chanting the Takbir loudly and distributing meat varieties among people. Every person is expected to dress in their finest attire on the day. Women also cook unique sweets and food while gathering all their friends and family.
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