Eid-ul-Fitr popularly known as Eid, is a festival observed by the Muslim community to celebrate the conclusion of the month of fasting. This is the religious holiday, ultimately, encourages Muslims to forgive and forget any differences, or hostilities, with others which may have occurred during the year.
There are a religious obligations connected to the festival which see Muslims give thanks to Allah for giving them the strength – or taqat – to get through the month of Ramadan.
As well as forgiveness, self-reflection, and undertaking peaceful contemplation, Muslims are also required to give to charity by way of Fitrana – an obligatory charity which is to be paid prior to Eid-ul Fitr.
Eid-ul-Fitr: Celebrations to mark the end of Ramzan. Eid-ul-Fitr literally means ‘festival of breaking the fast’. Like other festivals observed by the Muslim community, this festival symbolizes faith. The festival is celebrated based on an Islamic belief by following the form of social practice.
Eid is celebrated on the first date of Shawwal, that is, the tenth month of the Hijra calendar. During the festival, Muslims exchange gifts, greeting their neighbours as a mark of solidarity and brotherhood.
According to the Islamic tradition, there are two festivals observed by Muslims every year – Eid-ul-Fitr just after Ramzan and Eid-ul-Zuha in the month of Haj.
Ramzan, the month of fasting, symbolizes a lot practices and beliefs of the community. It is not merely restraining oneself from having food but also to abstain from all kinds of evil and unlawful practices in Islam.
Muslims, just before the celebrations of Eid-ul-Fitr, keep a month long fast throughout the month of Ramzan. The practice of fasting is also known as ‘roza’ that starts from the break of dawn till dusk and during this whole day an individual has to refrain hinself from drinking, eating or having sexual intercourse. The term ‘roza’ us an Arabic word means abstinence. This year Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on August 20 to mark the end of Ramzan, the Islamic holy month of fasting.
Muslims attend communal prayers and listen to akhutba or sermon on the first day of the month of Shawwal. These prayers are held outside or in large venues, such as sports arenas, in some places. Many Muslims may travel far to participate in these activities. Some communities organize different festivities, such as communal meals or events for children, on this day.
If a Muslim has not given zakat al-fitr during Ramadan, he or she can give this on Eid-al-Fitr. Zakat al-fitr is a form of charity consisting of a quantity of food, such as barley, dates, raisins or wheat flour, or its monetary equivalent given to the poor. Many Muslims may also prepare festive meals to share, wear new clothes, visit relatives and give presents or candy to children. Cards can also be sent, often featuring the words “Eid Mubbarak” (blessed Eid).