One of the most joyous days in the Islamic calendar, Eid al-Fitr, also known as Eid ul-Fitr or Eid, is a celebration that marks the end of Ramadan (a holy month of fasting observed by Muslims). This year Eid al-Fitr will most likely be observed on Thursday, August 8, 2013 in the United States. It is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal, the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Traditionally, the observance begins with the sighting of the new moon. While many will wait to see the moon or an announcement from Mecca, the Fiqh Council of North America has determined that Eid al-Fitr 2012 will fall on August 8, 2013, based on astronomical calculations.

According to a hadith attributed to Anas ibn Malik, a companion of the Prophet Muhammad, the two festivals of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha were instituted by the Prophet after his journey from Mecca to Medinah.

“When the Prophet arrived in Medinah, he found people celebrated two specific days in which they used to entertain themselves with recreation and merriment. He asked them about the nature of these festivities to which they replied that these days were occasions of fun and recreation. At this, the Prophet remarked that the Almighty has fixed two days [of festivity] instead of these for you which are better than these: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.

The first Eid al-Fitr was celebrated in 624 CE by the Prophet Muhammad and his companions after the victory of the battle of Jang-e-Badar.

To mark the beginning of Eid and in accordance with the Sunnah, or practices of the Prophet Muhammad, many Muslims wake up early in the morning and pray Salat ul-Fajr, or the pre-dawn prayer. After brushing their teeth, taking a bath and wearing perfume, they have breakfast before heading off to perform special congregational prayers known as Salaat al-Eid. Many Muslims recite the takbir, a declaration of faith, on the way to the prayer ground and give special charitable contributions known as Zakat al-Fitr.

Eid al-Fitr is a day of great merriment and thanksgiving. Muslims celebrate by gathering with friends and family, preparing sweet delicacies, wearing new clothes, giving each other gifts and putting up lights and other decorations in their homes. A common greeting during this holiday is Eid Mubarak, which means, “Have a blessed Eid!”

Are you celebrating Eid al-Fitr this year? If so, let us know how in the comments section.

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  • Eid 2013

    Young Pakistani Muslim girls offer Eid al-Fitr prayers outside the Red Mosque during the first day of their religious festival in Islamabad on August 9, 2013. Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Eid 2013

    Pakistani Muslims leave after offering Eid al-Fitr prayers outside the Red Mosque during the first day of their religious festival in Islamabad on August 9, 2013. Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Eid 2013

    A Sri Lankan Muslim child looks on as prayers are said during celebrations of the Eid al-Fitr festival in Colombo on August 9,2013. Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO/ LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Eid 2013

    A motorist hands out cash gifts to a group of Filipino Muslims boys after attending prayers during the Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan at the Blue Mosque in Taguig City, suburban Manila on August 9, 2013. Muslims across the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr festival with lavish feasts and religious services. AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Eid 2013

    A young girl plays with her mother's mobile phone as thousands of Filipino Muslims attend prayers during the Eid al-Fitr festival marking the end of the fasting month of Ramadan at the Blue Mosque in Taguig City, suburban Manila on August 9, 2013. Muslims across the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr festival with lavish feasts and religious services. AFP PHOTO / TED ALJIBE (Photo credit should read TED ALJIBE/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Eid 2013

    Indian Muslims are joined by a Sikh (C) as they offer special prayers during a heavy downpour of rain in a public park during celebrations of the Eid al-Fitr festival in New Delhi on August 9, 2013. Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr , which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO/RAVEENDRAN (Photo credit should read RAVEENDRAN/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Eid 2013

    Nepalese Muslims offer early morning Eid al-Fitr prayers at Kashmiri Mosque in Kathmandu on August 9, 2013. Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the month of Ramadan, after the sighting of the new crescent moon. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Eid 2013

    Nepalese Muslims greet each other after performing congregational Eid al-Fitr prayers at Kashmiri Mosque in Kathmandu on August 9, 2013. Muslims around the world are celebrating Eid al-Fitr which marks the end of the month of Ramadan, after the sighting of the new crescent moon. AFP PHOTO/Prakash MATHEMA (Photo credit should read PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Eid 2013

    Pakistani Muslims leave after offering Eid al-Fitr prayers outside the Red Mosque during the first day of their religious festival in Islamabad on August 9, 2013. Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Eid 2013

    Young Pakistani boys carry balloons after offering Eid al-Fitr prayers outside the Red Mosque during the first day of their religious festival in Islamabad on August 9, 2013. Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Eid 2013

    Pakistani Muslims exchange greetings after offering Eid al-Fitr prayers during the first day of their religious festival in Islamabad on August 9, 2013. Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO / AAMIR QURESHI (Photo credit should read AAMIR QURESHI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Eid 2013

    A Sri Lankan Muslim child gestures as he attends a special prayer during celebrations for the Eid al-Fitr festival in Colombo on August 9,2013. Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO/ LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • SRI LANKA-RELIGION-ISLAM-EID

    A young Sri Lankan Muslim child gestures as special prayers are performed during celebrations of the Eid al-Fitr festival in Colombo on August 9,2013. Muslims around the world are celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday, which marks the end of the fasting month of Ramadan. AFP PHOTO/ LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI (Photo credit should read LAKRUWAN WANNIARACHCHI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • A Myanmar Muslim boy joins as Muslims gather to pray at a mosque during the festival of Eid al-Fitr on the outskirts of Yangon, Myanmar Friday, Aug 9, 2013. (AP Photo/Khin Maung Win)

  • Indian Muslims pray at the Vasi Ullah mosque in Allahabad, India, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Rajesh Kumar Singh)

  • Indian Muslim children hug and wish each other after offering Eid prayers in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

  • A Kenyan Muslim boy offer prayer during Eid al-Fitr at the grounds of Noor Mosque in Nairobi, Kenya, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

  • Kenyan Muslims listen to the Imam's sermon during Eid al-Fitr in the ground of Noor Mosque in Nairobi, Kenya, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo (AP Photo/Sayyid Azim)

  • Two sisters react as they get their photographs taken after their family offered prayers on the occasion of Eid-al-Fitr in the ruins of the Feroz Shah Kotla Mosque in New Delhi, India, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Saurabh Das)

  • Indian Muslim women congrate during Eid al-Fitr prayers in Kolkata, India, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Bikas Das)

  • An Indian Muslim boy looks upwards as others take part in Eid al-Fitr prayers in Mumbai, India, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Rajanish Kakade)

  • Iranian women attend the Eid al-Fitr prayer in Tehran, Iran, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. The Eid al-Fitr celebration marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Ebrahim Noroozi)

  • Indian Muslims greet each other after their Eid al-Fitr prayers at Qutub Shahi tomb in Hyderabad, India, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.)

  • Pakistani children play on a rotator during the Eid al-Fitr holiday in Peshawar, Pakistan, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. The holiday marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Mohammad Sajjad)

  • Pakistani Muslims offer prayers on the occasion of the Eid al-Fitr holiday in Karachi, Pakistan, Friday, Aug. 9, 2013. The holiday marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Shakil Adil)

  • A Palestinian woman enjoys on a swing during the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. The three-day holiday marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. One of the most important holidays in the Muslim world, Eid al-Fitr, is marked with prayers, family reunions and other festivities. (AP Photo/Ariel Schalit)

  • Children attend the the Eid al-Fitr dawn prayers marking the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan, in Panama City, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Arnulfo Franco)

  • A Muslim girl reads a holy book at Jama Masjid ahead of Eid al-Fitr in New Delhi, India,Thursday, Aug 8, 2013. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

  • A Muslim girl has her face decorated as Muslims celebrate Eid al-Fitr in Valby, Copenhagen, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/POLFOTO, Joachim Adrian) DENMARK OUT

  • Nigeria Muslim women and girls attend Eid al-Fitr prayers at Ramat square in Maiduguri, Nigeria, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Nigerians in the birthplace of an Islamic uprising gripping the northeast Thursday celebrated the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Fitr with devout prayers and a joyful show of adulation for their king that attracted more than 10,000 people. It was the first durbar in three years in the city of Maiduguri and the joy that it could take place _ albeit amid massive security _ was heard in the cries of ululating women, screams of delight from children and men chanting “Long live the king!” (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

  • Nigeria muslims greets the Shehu of Borno, al-Hajj Muhammad al-Amîn ibn Muhammad al-Kânemî, not seen in picture, during a celebration of Eid al-Fitr in Maiduguri, northeastern Nigeria, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Nigerians in the birthplace of an Islamic uprising gripping the northeast celebrated the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Fitr on Thursday with devout prayers and a joyful show of adulation for their king that attracted more than 10,000 people. It was the first durbar in three years in the city of Maiduguri and the joy that it could take place - albeit amid massive security - was heard in the cries of ululating women, screams of delight from children and men chanting “Long live the king!” (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

  • A Nigeria muslim blows a horn during Eid al-Fitr celebration in Maiduguri, northeastern Nigeria, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Nigerians in the birthplace of an Islamic uprising gripping the northeast celebrated the Muslim holy day of Eid al-Fitr on Thursday with devout prayers and a joyful show of adulation for their king that attracted more than 10,000 people. It was the first durbar in three years in the city of Maiduguri and the joy that it could take place - albeit amid massive security - was heard in the cries of ululating women, screams of delight from children and men chanting “Long live the king!” (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

  • Indian homeless men wait to receive free food distributed outside a mosque ahead of Eid al-Fitr in New Delhi, India,Thursday, Aug 8, 2013. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Tsering Topgyal)

  • Palestinian women enjoy the Mediterranean sea during the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. One of the most important holidays in the Muslim world, Eid al-Fitr, is marked with prayers, family reunions and other festivities. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Palestinians and Israelis enjoy the Mediterranean sea during the first day of the Eid al-Fitr holiday in Tel Aviv, Israel, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. The three-day Eid al-Fitr holiday marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. One of the most important holidays in the Muslim world, Eid al-Fitr, is marked with prayers, family reunions and other festivities. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty)

  • Pakistan girls show their hands painted with henna ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday in Karachi, Pakistan on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Pakistani Muslims will start celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday Friday that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

  • A Pakistani beautician paints a hand of a customer with henna ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday in Islamabad, Pakistan on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Pakistani Muslims will start celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday Friday that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/B.K. Bangash)

  • Pakistani girls get their hands painted with henna ahead of the Muslim Eid al-Fitr holiday in Karachi, Pakistan on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Pakistani Muslims will start celebrating the Eid al-Fitr holiday Friday that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Fareed Khan)

  • Safia Durri, 3, plays with her mother Hanan Abubeke before the Eid ul Fitr prayer service and celebration at Reliant Center on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Mayra Beltran) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • Ayesha Dawood, 12, quietly leaves Reliant Center after the Eid ul Fitr prayer service and celebration on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Mayra Beltran) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • Men pray during the Eid ul Fitr prayer service and celebration at the Reliant Center on Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013, in Houston. (AP Photo/Houston Chronicle, Mayra Beltran) MANDATORY CREDIT

  • A Sri Lankan balloon vendor waits for customers outside a mosque on the eve of Eid al-Fitr in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Eranga Jayawardena)

  • A Muslim girl wears a traditional scarf while taking part in Eid al-Fitr prayers in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Muslim men and women joined prayers at the Dinamo stadium in the Romanian capital, in the largest Muslim public gathering of the year. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

  • Eid Mubarak!

    DENPASAR, BALI, INDONESIA - AUGUST 08: Muslims pray during mass to celebrate Eid-ul Fitr on August 8, 2013 in Denpasar, Bali, Indonesia. The two-day holiday, Eid ul-Fitr, marks the end of Ramadan, the Islamic month of fasting and begins after the sighting of a new crescent moon. (Photo by Putu Sayoga/Getty Images)

  • Eid Mubarak!

    Sara, 4 years-old reacts before Eid al-Fitr prayers in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Muslim men and women joined prayers at the Dinamo stadium in the Romanian capital, in the largest Muslim public gathering of the year. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

  • Eid Mubarak!

    An Egyptian girl holds balloons with Arabic writing that reads "no for the coup," as supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi attend the Eid al-Fitr dawn prayers, marking the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan that is traditionally celebrated with special cookies, presents and new clothes outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where protesters have installed a camp and hold daily rallies at Nasr City in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2013. This year's holiday of Eid al-Fitr is overshadowed by the deep divisions in Egypt, with the interim government planning to celebrate the festival with outdoor prayers in town center squares and Morsi's supporters marking the holiday with their own protest gatherings, including the two major sit-ins by the Islamists in Cairo. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)

  • Eid Mubarak!

    A Muslim child eats biscuit after attending an Eid al-Fitr morning prayer session at the Niujie Mosque in Beijing, China Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Muslims in China celebrate the Eid al-Fitr that marks the end of the holy fasting month of Ramadan. (AP Photo/Andy Wong)

  • Eid Mubarak!

    A child runs between lines of Muslim men during Eid al-Fitr prayers in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Muslim men and women joined prayers at the Dinamo stadium in the Romanian capital, in the largest Muslim public gathering of the year. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

  • Eid Mubarak!

    A man holds a child while attending Eid al-Fitr prayers in Bucharest, Romania, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. Muslim men and women joined prayers at the Dinamo stadium in the Romanian capital, in the largest Muslim public gathering of the year. Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, during which Muslims all over the world fast from sunrise to sunset. (AP Photo/Vadim Ghirda)

  • Eid Mubarak!

    In this image released by the Egyptian Presidency, Egypt's interim officials, from left, Prime Minister Hazem el-Beblawi, Vice President Mohamed ElBaradei, President Adly Mansour, Army Chief Gen. Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi and Interior Minister Mohammed Ibrahim pray at Air Force mosque during the Eid al-Fitr holiday in Cairo, Egypt, Thursday, Aug. 8, 2013. This year's holiday was overshadowed by the deep divisions in Egypt, between the interim government and supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi. At far right is former Grand Mofty of Egypt Ali Gomaa. (AP Photo/Egyptian Presidency)

  • Eid Mubarak!

    Egyptian children play at a carnival built by supporters of Egypt's ousted President Mohammed Morsi to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday, marking the end of the Muslim holy fasting month of Ramadan that is traditionally celebrated with special cookies, presents and new clothes outside Rabaah al-Adawiya mosque, where protesters have installed a camp and hold daily rallies at Nasr City in Cairo, Egypt, Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2013. This year's holiday of Eid al-Fitr was overshadowed by the deep divisions in Egypt, with the interim government planning to celebrate the festival with outdoor prayers in town center squares and Morsi's supporters marking the holiday with their own protest gatherings, including the two major sit-ins by the Islamists in Cairo. (AP Photo/Khalil Hamra)