What is Eid al-Fitr?
Eid al-Fitr is an Islamic festival that marks the end of Ramadan, the holy month of fasting when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk each day. It is the first time Muslims can eat during daylight hours after fasting during Ramadan. The translation of “Eid al-Fitr” from Arabic sums up the holiday as it means “festival of breaking the fast.”
Eid al-Fitr is celebrated during the first three days of Shawwal, which is the tenth month in the Muslim (lunar) calendar. This means that the timing of Eid al-Fitr (and Ramadan) is different every year as it is based on the lunar cycle. It does not begin until the new moon is seen, which means it starts at different times for different Muslims around the world. However, some Muslims choose to celebrate Eid al-Fitr when the new moon first appears over Mecca instead of their own locations.
Muslims around the world perform communal prayer at daybreak on the first day of Eid al-Fitr, after cleansing themselves and donning new clothes. They then continue to celebrate for three days. A common greeting during Eid al-Fitr is “Eid Mubarak,” which means “Blessed Eid.” This greeting is used to wish other Muslims well during Eid.
These celebrations during Eid al-Fitr vary from country to country but include visiting family and friends, giving presents, enjoying feasts, wearing new clothes, and visiting the graves of relatives. Through these celebrations, Muslims show their gratitude to Allah after reflecting and fasting during Ramadan.
This holiday is also a reminder for Muslims to be grateful for what they have as well as to help the less fortunate. This is known as zakat, which is one of the five pillars of Islam. Zakat is a requirement that all Muslims with the means to do so donate to the less fortunate. Zakat significantly increases during Ramadan and continues as an important part of Eid al-Fitr.
The Palestine Children’s Relief Fund wishes you Eid Mubarak during this time of celebration. While PCRF is not a religious organization, we serve vulnerable children in Palestine and throughout the Middle East where many countries are primarily Muslim. We rely on zakat and other forms of charitable giving to continue our humanitarian efforts to help children and their families. There are many ways to get involved with PCRF and make a difference today.