Eid-ul-Fitr, popularly known as the "Festival of Breaking of the Fast", occurs as soon as the new moon is sighted at the end of the month of fasting, namely Ramadan also known as Ramzan. This festival celebrates the end of Ramzan, the Muslim month of fasting. It is an occasion of feasting and rejoicing.

Fitr is derived from the word ‘fatar’ meaning breaking. Fitr has another meaning derived from another word fitrah meaning ‘alms’. Special foods and delicacies are prepared for the day and are distributed among   neighbors  and friends. The devotees gather in the mosques to pray, friends and relatives meet and exchange greetings. Prayers, family get-together and feasts are the major highlights of the festival. Unlike most festivals, Ramadan doesn’t fall on any particular day. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic year. It is usually a time for increased religious devotion and self-examination.

Eid is also famous bu the name of Sweet Festival, Lesser Eid, Hari Raya Puasa and Bayram. It is the only day for Muslims where they are not allowed to fast. It totally depends on the sight or appearance of the moon that when will the holy month of Ramzan ends and Eid is celebrated. It also marks the first day of the Shawwal.

The Origin of Eid al-Fitr

It is believed that Eid-ul-Fitr was observed by Prophet Mohammad who is said to be the messenger of God in Islam. In some traditions, Eid and other related festivals began in Madinah where Muhammad witnessed people celebrating two specific days to entertain themselves. Later he exclaimed that God fixed Eid al-Adha an Eid al-Fitr as days of festivity for them which are even better than theirs. According to another tale, Muhammad s wife Aishah narrated that once her father stopped young girls when they were singing to which Muhammad responded saying that every nation has Id, this is our Eid so let them sing.

Eid al-Fitr Salat

Eid al-Fitr Salat
On this day, a Salat or Islamic Prayer is specially performed. This particular prayer is made up of two units called Rakats which is performed in a large hall or any open field. The one specialty of this Islamic chant is that it has additional 6 Takbirs in which a person has to raise his hands till the ears and say Allahu Akbar . For Sunnis, this process is done 12 times. The salat on Eid can be divided into 3 juristic thoughts:

  1. Mustahabb
  2. Fard
  3. Mandoob

Eid al-Fitr Traditions and Customs

Eid al-Fitr Eidi
  • Common greetings are exchanged on this day from Eid Mubarak in Arab to Bayaraminiz kutlu olsun in Turkey. Forgetting the differences and animosities and forgiveness is also encouraged on this day.

  • Ideally, Muslims wake up early on this day and after their first Fajr prayer they can clean their teeth, take bath, wear new clothes and apply Itr or perfume as well.

  • After this they are allowed to take the customary sweet date-fruit and go for their next prayer or Salat. This is often done on a wide open ground or mosque wherein they are not allowed to speak a word except that of the Islamic prayer. People ask for Allah s mercy and forgiveness.

  • A common tradition of Eidi is very famous among the kids and children. Many even indulge in charity to show their happiness and help the poor.

The Timings of the Moon

The sightness of the moon decides when to open the fast. In case the clouds block the moon or the sky on the west is too bright, Eid is shifted to be celebrate the following day.

Eid al-Fitr Celebrations Around the World

In case you wish to see the best Eid celebrations somewhere, head to Saudi Arabia. People here are whole heartedly indulged in organizing the Eid festival. Many shopkeepers offer free gifts with each purchase while some give away new toys to strangers.
Eid al-Fitr Celebrations in Saudi Arabia
Not only this, a very old custom is also one of the reasons why you should visit Saudi Arabia during this time. According to which in some areas, men of the family buy large quantity of staples and rice and leave at the door steps of anonymous people. Some families prepare large meals to be shared by the other neighbors.

In Turkey, this day is famous by the name of Bayram. People visit cemetries to pay respect to their loved ones after their morning prayers.
Bayram in Turkey
It is a 3 day festival where it is a custom to kiss the right hands (and place the head on it) while wishing the elderly a Happy Bayram. It is also an official holiday period for the complete duration.

In Tunisia, special biscuits are prepared to give them to the neighbors while in South Africa, this day is celebrated by gathering at Green Point for the moon sighting.
Eid al-Fitr Celebrations in India

इस आर्टिकल को हिंदी में पढ़ने के लिए यहां क्लिक करें

In India, women apply Mehandi a night before Eid. While in Pakistan, Sheer Khurma is prepared.

Forthcoming Festivals