Eid al-Fitr is a joyous celebration to mark the end of the Islamic 30-day fasting month, Ramadan
Eid al-Fitr, meaning Feast of Breaking the Fast in English, is one of the two official holidays within Islam and is enjoyed by by Muslims around the world.
It marks the end of the Islamic holy month, Ramadan, where Muslims fast during sunlight hours for 30 days.
This Eid is also known as lesser Eid or just Eid, as Eid celebrations typically last for three days, which is one day less than the other official Eid –Eid al-Adha.
But what are the customs behind Eid al-Fitr and how is it celebrated? Here’s what you need to know.
When is Eid al-Fitr 2022?
In the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Fitr falls on the first day of Shawwal. In the Gregorian calendar, this day goes forward every year by 10-11 days as the start of any Islamic month begins on the new crescent moon when sighted by religious authorities.
In 2022, Eid al-Fitr will fall on Sunday 1 May or Monday 2 May, depending on the new moon, as Ramadan typically never lasts longer than 30 days because the Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle.
This Eid was originated by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, where, according to traditions, when the Prophet arrived in Medina, after migrating from Mecca, he noted the locals celebrating two specific days, and these two days formed the basis of the two Eid in Islam : Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.
How is Eid al-Fitr celebrated?
As this day is a religious celebration, this Eid begins with a salat (prayer). The salat, which is only two rakats (units) long, can only be performed in a congregation and is usually performed in an open field or a large hall ..
After the prayers, Muslims celebrate in various ways, with rich, sweet food and family celebrations being the central themes.
With the emphasis on food, this Eid is also known as Sweet Eid or Sugar Feast.
Many people adorn themselves in their finest clothes, and many women apply henna on their hands as a mark of the celebration. However, across the world, Muslims celebrate Eid differently –all with a central theme of food.
In Turkey, a secular country with a majority of Muslims, nationwide celebrated holidays are known as Bayram, and Eid al-Fitr is referred to as Ramadan Bayrami, meaning Bayram of Sweets / Sugar.
Children go door-to-door and wish everyone a “happy Bayram” for which they are awarded traditional sweets such as baklava and Turkish Delight.
People in Palestine and Jordan will adorn their homes, and buy new clothes and shoes for the celebrations.
In Tunisia, Eid is celebrated for three days, two of which are national holidays. Children traditionally receive money and toys.
Elaborate banquets with dishes such as xalwo and buskut are served in the Islamic regions of Somalia, and in Sudan, preparations for Eid are done days in advance.
The night before Eid is known as Chandraat, in Pakistan, where women adorn their hands in henna during this time. People also give to charity, to the needy or the poor and enjoy a special breakfast that has different types of sweets and desserts, such as kheer (rice pudding).
In New York City, public schools remain closed on Eid. In Argentina, Eid is a non-working holiday for Muslims.
How to wish someone a Happy Eid?
The most common phrase used to wish someone a Happy Eid is Eid Mubarak, which is an Arabic phrase to say “Blessed feast / festival”. For Urdu speakers, the usual response is Khair Mubarak, meaning to wish goodwill to the person who greeted you ..
Eid Mubarak, although commonly known, is not used worldwide. Turkish people say Bayramınız Kutlu Olsun (May your Eid be blessed) or, 0054yi Bayramlar (Good Eid days)
In Nigeria, people greet each other by saying Barka Da Sallah, meaning Blessed Eid Prayers. Bosnian Muslims say Bajram Šerif mubarek olsun, meaning may your Eid be blessed.
Spanish speaking countries say Feliz Eid, likely people who speak Malay say Selamat Hari Raya, meaning Happy Holidays.