What is Eid al-Fitr?


Eid al Fitr is a Muslim festival that’s celebrated when Ramadan ends. It typically lasts for 3 days but most of the celebrations happen on the first day. Eid al-Fitr literally translates to “festival of the breaking of the fast” in English. The festival of Eid al-Fitr is a reward for Muslims around the world who fasted from dawn till dusk during Ramadan. Since Islam follows the lunar calendar the start of the Eid is determined by the sighting of the moon. Once the crescent moon marking the start of the next month is spotted the month of Ramadan is over and Eid may begin. This means that according to the solar Gregorian calendar Eid falls on a different day every year. Another consequence of using the lunar calendar is that the beginning of Eid may vary from country to country depending on when the moon is sighted.

On the morning of the Eid, Muslims wake up early, eat a small breakfast, and then go to pray at a nearby mosque. It’s preferred to go to the mosque by foot if it’s not very far. A sermon is given followed by a special prayer called “Salat al-Eid”. After that Muslims spend time with friends and family. Giving gifts to others is pretty common in Eid al-Fitr, especially to children.

During the last few days of Ramadan, Muslims are required to donate a certain amount of food, known as “Zakat al-Fitr (charity of breaking the fast)”, to the poor. This is in order to help the poor break the fast and participate in the celebration. It also spreads positivity, happiness and love within communities. This donation is a duty that is required of all Muslim and Zaqat in general is one of the five pillars of Islam.

Common greetings during the holiday are “Eid Mubarak (Have a Blessed Eid)” or “Eid saeed (Happy Eid)”.



Written by: Osama Waheib

June 29, 2016

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