Eid-al-Fitr is a Muslim holiday that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and the beginning of the Shawwal month. It is also known as the "Festival of Breaking Fast".
It is a public holiday in India and many countries across West Asia.
History Behind The Holy Day
Out of all the festivals in the Islam community, two major ones are Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha. Eid-al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and is celebrated on the first and second days of Shawwal.
Shawwal is the tenth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The date according to the Gregorian calendar varies every year since the Islamic calendar depends on the lunar cycle.
Muslim tradition believes that the Islamic Prophet Muhammad originally started the festival of Eid-al-Fitr.
Some traditions have it that the festivals were proposed in Medina after Muhammad migrated from Mecca.
A popular friend of the Islamic Prophet, Anas, said that upon Muhammad's arrival in Medina, he saw people celebrating two specific days of recreation and festivities.
Hence, Muhammad concluded that two days of celebration were set by God. These two days are Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha.
During Ramadan, the prophet of Islam Muhammad received the revelations from the angel Gabriel that allowed him to compile the holy book of the Quran.
It is also said that in the early days of Islam, Allah instructed the Prophet Muhammad to fast during the month of Ramadan to help develop empathy, self-discipline, and compassion and to strengthen the bond between Allah and his children.
Customs and Celebrations Of Eid-Al-Fitr
Eid-al-Fitr is celebrated to express gratitude towards Allah for his blessings. The celebration typically starts with the sighting of the new moon which marks the end of Ramadan and the beginning of Shawwal.
People gather in mosques or open spaces to offer the special Eid prayer that has two units of prayer and a sermon.
After the prayer is done, they greet each other and exchange the greeting "Eid Mubarak" which translates to "Happy Eid". They also gather to exchange gifts, and sweets and have a delightful feast with their near and dear ones.
One of the main highlights of Eid-al-Fitr is Zakat-al-Fitr. It is a traditional charity where people donate to the needy before commencing the Eid prayer to help the less fortunate so that they can also celebrate Eid and enjoy.
Several parts of the world celebrate Eid-al-Fitr for three days and each day has different traditions and customs.
Eid-al-Fitr is a very devout day in the Islamic faith and it also serves as a reminder of faith, family, values, and community. People from all over the globe come together to get into the spirits of this joyful festival.
They also decorate their homes with ornaments and lights. This day is also supposed to purify us and clean our sins while thanking God for his help and guidance.
Learn more about the Islamic Calendar.