Ramadan is the most sacred month of the year in Islamic culture. Muslims fast and abstain from pleasures from sunrise to sunset for a month to observe this tradition. Eid Al Fitr is the feast that marks the end of Ramadan and signifies a new beginning. Here are some of the things you must know about this feast.
Fun Fact #1
Eid Al Fitr literally translates to “Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.” As this marks the end of the month-long fasting in Ramadan, Eid Al Fitr is celebrated by holding joyous feasts and spending quality time with friends and family.
Fun Fact #2
Ramadan and Eid Al Fitr do not have a fixed date. These two Muslim celebrations fall on different dates every year because the Islamic calendar is based on lunar cycles and new months start and end with a new moon. Last year in the Philippines, Eid Al Fitr fell on June 26, 2017; this year, it fell on June 15, 2018.
Fun Fact #3
It is known as the “Lesser Eid.” Muslims have two celebrations of Eid, one is Eid Al Adha or the Feast of the Sacrifice, also known as the Greater Eid. Like Eid Al Fitr, it is also celebrated on a different day each year. In Southeast Asia, Eid Al Fitr is also known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri and Hari Raya Puasa.
Fun Fact #4
On the day of the Eid, the Muslim families usually wake up early in the morning to eat breakfast and prepare for their feasts all throughout the day. As this is a celebration of the end of their month-long fasting for Ramadan, Muslims usually go from one house to another to share food and gifts.
Fun Fact #5
On Eid Al Fitr, Muslims cleanse their bodies and wear new clothes to symbolize a new beginning. After all, the Eid indicates the start of a new lunar month. Some Muslims wear special bedazzled clothes with henna and floral patterns while others opt to wear traditional Muslim clothes.
Fun Fact #6
They begin the Eid in prayer. After cleansing and eating a little bit, they start the celebration of the Eid going to mosques and offering prayers. This is to show their thanksgiving to Allah. They also visit the graves of their loved ones to pay respect.
Fun Fact #7
Some of the greetings during the feast are “Happy Eid!”, “ Blessed Eid!”, “ Eid Saeed”, “Eid Mubarak!”, and “May you have a blessed year!”
The Philippines is home to a Muslim community, and we recognize Eid Al Fitr as a national holiday so we can celebrate with them in this peaceful and joyful feast. Eid Al Fitr is just one of the many interesting traditions of the Islamic community.