RELIGION
06/26/2017 12:08 pm ET Updated Jun 14, 2018

How Muslims Celebrate Eid al-Fitr, The End Of Ramadan

The long month of fasting, prayer, and reflection has come to a close.
Palestinian American Waleed Shehadeh rests on a blanket as he is photographed by family members in celebration of the Muslim
Gabriela Bhaskar / Reuters
Palestinian American Waleed Shehadeh rests on a blanket as he is photographed by family members in celebration of the Muslim holiday Eid al-Fitr in Staten Island, New York, U.S., on June 25, 2017.

This is an updated version of an article published on June 26, 2017.

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 in the United States, Eid al-Fitr begins on Friday, June 15. 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 2018 will fall on June 15, based on astronomical calculations.

Muslims perform Eid al-Fitr prayers in Bensonhurst Park in Brooklyn, New York on June 25, 2017.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Muslims perform Eid al-Fitr prayers in Bensonhurst Park in Brooklyn, New York on June 25, 2017.

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.

A Yemeni-American Muslim family prepares a breakfast feast to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday in Brooklyn, New York, U.S.,
Kholood Eid / Reuters
A Yemeni-American Muslim family prepares a breakfast feast to celebrate the Eid al-Fitr holiday in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., on June 25, 2017.

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!”

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