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 2021 Eid al-Fitr date will begin on the evening of 12th May and end on the evening of 13th May. However, these dates may vary.
Eid translates to “feast” or “festival” in Arabic. In the Islamic calendar, every year, there are two most significant Eid, namely “Eid ul Fitr” and “Eid al Adha,” which comes 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 is about four days long.
Eid ul Fitr 2021 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 during which the 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 by 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, two specific days were celebrated by the people where people were entertained with merriment and recreation. At this, the Prophet stated that God had fixed two days for all the festivities, which are Eid ul Fitr and Eid ul Adha.
Celebration of Eid al-Fitr
Eid ul Fitr features the celebration of two or three days that include 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 even strangers will be greeting each other with “Eid Mubarak” wishes 2021, 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 that 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, which is 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, then the celebration takes place the following day. Depending on the country, Eid ul Fitr 2021 will be celebrated for one to three days. A specific prayer is nominated on this particular day while it is forbidden to fast on the celebration day. 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, which is 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 loud and distributing meat varieties among people. Every person is expected to dress in their finest attire on the day. Women also cook special sweets and food while gathering all their friends and family.
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