Global Celebrations – Eid

Today’s global celebrations post is all about Eid!

If you haven’t read our intro to our global celebrations series then just click here. There are two types of Eid celebrated each year, but we’re going to discuss just one version in this post.

EID AL-FITR

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WHAT

‘Eid al-Fitr’, which translates to ‘festival of breaking of the fast’, is the first of the two Eids celebrated by Muslims every year around the world. This Eid marks the end of fasting in the holy month of Ramadan. Most Muslims fast from sunrise until sunset during the entirity of the month. Eid is the only date during Ramadan where fasting is not permitted.

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WHEN

The exact date on which Eid falls depends primarily on locality and sighting of the moon. The date of celebration each year varies according to observation of the new moon by local religious authorities. This is why the exact date of Eid is unknown each year until a few days before.

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GREETINGS

The most populat greeting during Eid is:

‘Eid Mubarak’ – ‘Blessed Eid’

HOW IS IT CELEBRATED 

 Eid is celebrated in a variety of ways, but there are some notable traditions. For many, Eid is about prayer and giving to the poor and to charity. Also, for many muslims buying new clothes to wear on Eid is a core tradition that goes back many years. Similarly, decorating hands with henna tattoos is another key tradition for many Muslim women. Henna is derivative from fragrant flowering shrub often used to create perfume. In order to make henna, leaves are dried and turned into a fine powder that is has many versatile uses such as for dying clothes and hair. It’s a natural alternative so henna is very popular in South Asia and other parts of the world also.

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Furthermore, Eid al-Fitr is sometimes referred to as the ‘Sweet Holiday’ because it is customary for sweet treats to be eaten at the end of Ramadan. Different sweet foods that are eaten include – dates, falooda and halwa. Additionally, like Christmas, on Eid many Muslims give gifts or money (often referred to as ‘Eidy’) to children or younger members of the family. As mentioned briefly above, Zakat al-Fitr requires that all Muslims, who are able to do so, must give to charity. Ultimately, nonetheless, Eid is about spending time with family and loved ones.

Thanks for reading!

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