An Indian Muslim boy offers Eid al-Fitr prayers with others in Mumbai, India, Thursday, July 7, 2016. (AP Photo/ Rajanish Kakade )
Eid al-Fitr (say "EED al fitter") is a three-day religious holiday that’s celebrated by Muslims around the world. Read on to find out more about this festival.
Eid al-Fitr, which means the "Festival of the Breaking of the Fast", marks the end of Ramadan. Ramadan is a month-long holiday when Muslims fast, or go without food and drinks, during daylight. The celebration of Eid al-Fitr also signals the first day in the month of Shawwal. The date of this festival is based on the lunar calendar. This year, it begins the evening of June 25 and ends the evening of June 26. In many Muslim countries, the three-day festival is a national holiday. That means people don’t go to school or work. Instead they participate in the Eid al-Fitr celebrations.
During Eid al-Fitr, Muslim families and friends get together to celebrate. The day usually begins with the whole family enjoying a small breakfast. This is the first daytime meal that has been eaten in a month. Muslims then gather outside or at a mosque to pray together and listen to a sermon that’s followed by a prayer called the Salat al-Eid. In the afternoon, Muslims get together with family and friends to enjoy a big feast (with lots of sweets!) and give gifts to each other. There may also be parades, processions, and other outdoor celebrations. Traditionally, people greet each other by saying: Eid Mubarak, which means “Blessed Eid.”
Since giving to others through charity is an important part of Ramadan, it is also a part of the Eid al-Fitr celebrations. Many Muslims donate different kinds of food to the poor. This form of charity is called sadagah al-fitr, and it makes sure that everyone will be able to mark the end of Ramadan by enjoying a special meal.
While Eid al-Fitr celebrations are similar in most places, some countries do have their own unique customs. In Indonesia, for example, many Muslims visit the graves of their family members and clean the gravesites during this holiday. And in Turkey, people show an extra sign of respect to the elderly throughout Eid al-Fitr by kissing their right hand when they meet.