Eid al-Fitr, the first of the two Eids celebrated in the Islamic calendar, celebrates the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the month of Ramadan.
Ramadan is held during the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and is a time for spiritual reflection, spending time with loved ones, and charitable work.
Eid al-Fitr marks the beginning of the tenth month in the Islamic calendar, known as Shawwal, and is a joyous celebration.
Eid al-Fitr translates from Arabic to “festival of breaking the fast.”
When is Eid 2018?
The Islamic calendar is based on the lunar cycle, unlike the Gregorian calendar, which is determined by the sun.
Due to this, the exact date of Eid depends on when the first crescent of the new moon is sighted, and changes every year.
It can also vary by region, as the new moon is sighted at different times by local religious authorities.
This year, Eid is expected to begin on Friday June 15.
The International Astronomical Centre in Abu Dhabi has reported that Friday is the expected date “In most Islamic countries including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Libya, Egypt, Kuwait and Qatar.”
Official Eid announcements are usually made within an hour or two of sunset because the new moon rises and sets with the sun.
How do you wish someone a happy Eid?
To wish someone a happy Eid you can say ‘Eid Mubarak’, which is Arabic for ‘blessed Eid’.
Eid Mubarak is pronounced in English like ‘eed mu-buh-ruck’
How is Eid celebrated?
Eid is traditionally celebrated for three days and is a national holiday in most Muslim countries.
In the UK, people tend to celebrate by taking a day off work or school.
The celebrations usually begin with early morning prayers.
The rest of the day is dedicated to spending time with friends and family.
Gifts are exchanged, and feasting ensues during daylight hours for the first time since before Ramadan.
The food differs depending on location, there is no one meal that is served worldwide.
Eid al-Fitr is different to Eid al-Adha, which takes place two months later.
Eid al-Adha is the festival coinciding with Hajj, the annual pilgrimage to Mecca.
Eid al-Adha is known as the “sacrifice feast” and sees an animal sacrificed to feed the poor, friends, and family. It is seen as the holier of the two Eids.