12 June 2018

7 Facts About Eid al-Fitr

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This week, Muslims (roughly 1.9 billion) around the world will celebrate Eid al-Fitr, a holiday marking the end of Ramadan. Here are few important things to know about this widely-celebrated holiday.

Eid al-Fitr is celebrated on different days each year

Eid al-Fitr begins on the first day of the month of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar, a calendar based on lunar cycles.  The exact date is determined by the first sighting of the new moon. The date changes every year and the start date can vary from country to country.

Eid al-Fitr lasts for three days

This holiday is usually celebrated for three days but some countries may extend it to four.

Eid al-Fitr translate to...

The English translation is "Festival of Breaking the Fast." This refers to the all the feasting that is done following a long month of fasting.

Eid al-Fitr is called different names in different countries

Arabic speakers say Eid al-Fitr or simply Eid (Arabic word for holiday). This festival is also called Ramazan Bairami (Azerbaijan), Lebaran (Indonesia), Korite (Senegal), and Hari Raya Puasa (Malaysia). Eid al-Fitr is also known as the Lesser Eid, and is one of two major Eids. The second is called Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice), a holiday that celebrate Abraham's willingness to sacrifice his son.

Eid al-Fitr begins with a prayer

Muslims start off this holiday by attending their local mosque for the Eid prayer. Sometimes mosques get so full that people must pray outside. People take this opportunity to ask God to accept the sacrifice of Ramadan fasting and thank Him for Eid al-Fitr. Muslims may also visit, pray at, and clean the graves of family members during this holiday.

Eid al-Fitr is all about feasting!

Since this holiday comes after the end of a month-long fast, Muslims spend most of this holiday eating. Each country has it's own special dishes. In Jordan, many people prepare a special date-filled cookie called ma'amoul.

Kids love Eid al-Fitr because the gifts

Eid al-Fitr is like Christmas for Muslim children. Gifts of money, toys, candies, jewelry, and clothing are the most common. These gifts aren't just for kids. Many adults receive and give gifts as well.

To learn more about holidays around the world, check out CultureGrams World and Kids edition. Don't have access to CultureGrams? Request a free trial here.