[caption id="attachment_1776" align="alignleft" width="300"] Eid Al-Fitr greeting,' Eid Mubarak' meaning 'Blessed Eid'[/caption]
Eid Al-Fitr is a festival in celebration of the end of the holy month of Ramadan enjoyed by Muslims across the world. It is not only a time of celebration, but one of relaxing and socializing with family, during which Muslims are rewarded for their devotion through prayer and fasting, and acts of kindness and charity.
Eid Al-Fitr is translated as meaning 'the festival of ending the fast,' it is, however, also referred to in other terms including, "feast of fasting," "smaller Eid," and "Eid Al Saghir," meaning sugar feast. As the festival begins, people greet one another joyfully, as they say, "Eid Mubarak" or "Happy Eid."
[caption id="attachment_1778" align="alignright" width="300"] Salat Al-Eid[/caption]
At the start of Eid, Muslims gather in an open area called Eidgah and here the prayers of Eid are performed. It is then forbidden to fast on that day, as the fast is officially over. Following the morning prayers, Muslims enjoy a light meal, to break the fast, which is usually comprised of dates and water. On their way to breakfast, they can be heard reciting prayers and praises together.
There is no call to prayer for "Salat Al-Eid", the Eid prayer, and a sermon is held which is brought to a close with a congregational prayer. Hence, prayers marking the start of Eid, differ from the usual ones held throughout the day. The celebrations can then begin, and last for a duration of three days in most countries. However, the festival can continue for up to eleven days, as is the case in Saudi Arabia this year. But, wherever you are will be able to enjoy at least a minimum of three days in celebration of Eid.
Muslims are expected to contribute towards charity as the fast is broken, which is known as "Sadaq Al-Fitr" and takes place before "Salat Al-Eid." By doing so, others may also be blessed and can enjoy the Eid celebrations. It is also customary for Muslims to take different routes to the prayer grounds so that many individuals can receive charity on that morning. As they awake early, it is customary for Muslims to bathe themselves and be well-dressed for the day, before the sun rises for prayers.
[caption id="attachment_1777" align="alignleft" width="300"] Celebrating Eid Al-Fitr together[/caption]
During Eid, large gatherings between family and friends take place as they greet one another and enjoy the festivities that lie ahead. There are plenty of feasts with delicious home-made treats for children and adults alike. But the children, in particular, enjoy the treats and the many gifts which they receive from the older members of the family.
You'll see plenty of families going on a trip, or having a short family reunion during Eid, as there is always much socializing during this time of celebration. For those who are not able to meet in person, they'll be making phone calls and sending messages out to their loved ones during the festivities.
We wish you a very happy Eid Al-Fitr!