On Sunday, the people of Qatar will celebrate Eid-al-Fitr for three days after fasting a month in the holy month of Ramadan. In the other parts of the world, Eid will also be celebrated this weekend depending on the sighting of the new moon of Shawwal (the month after Ramadan, based on the Islamic calendar).
Eid-al-Fitr means the festival of breaking the fast' and is a time of rejoicing and celebrating. Festive lanterns and lights come alive all over cities where Eid is celebrated with zeal and fervour. Everyone wears new clothes, visits friends and family, enjoys special Eid foods and sweets and exchange gifts as part of the Eid tradition.
Eid-al-Fitr is the first of the two Eids, the other Eid being Eid-al-Adhaa which is celebrated after the yearly pilgrimage to Makkah, with the sacrifice of an animal. The meat is distributed evenly between family, friends and the needy.
The Islamic calendar is a lunar calendar and is based on the sighting of the moon as compared to the Gregorian calendar which is a solar calendar and is not based on the sighting of the moon. A typical Islamic month may be 29 or 30 days depending on the sighting of the new crescent moon. This means that every year Eid would fall on a different day than the year before and may actually move back about 11 days every year according to the Gregorian calendar. This also means that Eid may fall on a different day in different countries around the world depending on when the moon is sighted in each country.
Though Eid may be celebrated differently in separate parts of the world, the day normally begins with a special Eid prayer held after the early morning prayers when the sun is out. It is very important to give Zakat-ul-Fitr before the Eid prayers which is giving alms to those in need. After the prayers, Muslims often visit friends and family bearing gifts and goodwill and may also get together over a meal.
How will you be celebrating Eid-al-Fitr this year? What are your plans? Do let us know in our comments section. Like and share the article - it keeps us going!
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