Eid-al-Fitr: the end of Ramadan

Eid muburak
The Shepparton Interfaith Network sends greetings “Eid Muburak” to all Muslims in the Goulburn Valley


Many Muslims in Australia celebrate Eid al-Fitr (also known as Id al-Fitr or Eid ul-Fitr) on the first day of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar. It marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan and the start of a feast that lasts up to three days in some countries.


Eid is an Arabic word meaning “festivity”, while Fiṭr means “conclusion of the fast”; and so the holiday celebrates the conclusion of the thirty days of dawn-to-sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.

Common greetings during this holiday are the Arabic greeting ‘Eid Mubārak (“Blessed Eid”) or ‘Eid Sa‘eed (“Happy Eid”). In addition, many countries have their own greetings based on local language and traditions.

Eid-al-Fitr is celebrated on the first day of Shaw’waal, at the completion of Ramadan. Shaw’waal is the 10th month of the Islamic lunar calendar. The date changes from year to year. Since there are different ways of recognising the beginning of Eid, Muslims around the world do not always celebrate on the same day. Eid festivities may vary culturally depending on the region, but one common thread in all celebrations is the spirit of generosity and hospitality.

Fasting is not observed on the Day of Eid. Traditionally people have sweet dish before attending the special Eid prayer (salah). Eid prayer is performed in congregation in open areas like fields, community centers or at mosques. After the Eid prayer, Muslims usually join with the family, visit relatives & friends, give gifts (especially to children), and make phone calls to distant relatives.

 

Eid sa'eed

Is Eid al-Fitr a Public Holiday?

Although Eid ul Fitr is not a public holiday, businesses and schools may be closed because it falls on the same date as Hari Raya Puasa in 2021, which is a public holiday in Christmas Island and Cocos and Keeling Islands.

What Do People Do?

Eid al-Fitr is an important Islamic holiday for Muslim communities across Australia. Sheer khurma (a dish of dates cooked in milk) is usually eaten in the morning of Eid al-Fitr. It is a busy time for mosques throughout Australia, where worshippers flock for early morning prayers. Many Muslims dress in their finest clothes and adorn their homes with lights and other decorations.

Old wrongs are forgiven and money is given to the poor. Special foods are prepared and friends or relatives are invited to share the feast. Gifts and greeting cards are exchanged and children receive presents. Eid al-Fitr is a joyous occasion but its underlying purpose is to praise God and give thanks to him, according to Islamic belief.

Public Life

Eid al-Fitr is not a federal public holiday in Australia. However, many Islamic businesses and organizations may alter their business hours during this event. There may be some congestion around mosques around this time of the year.

Background

Eid al-Fitr is also known as the Feast of Fast-Breaking or the Lesser Feast. It marks the end of Ramadan and the start of a feast that lasts up to three days in some countries, such as Jordan and the United Arab Emirates. It is one of Islam’s two major festivals, with Eid al-Adha being the other major festival. Eid al-Fitr celebrates the end of the fasting that occurs during Ramadan.

It is not possible to predict the date of Eid al-Fitr according to the Gregorian calendar accurately. This is because the month of Shawwal begins, and hence the month of Ramadan ends, after a confirmed sighting of the new moon. The new moon may be sighted earlier or later in specific locations. Hence, Muslims in different parts of the world may begin the Eid-al-Fitr celebrations on different dates.

 

Eid muburak
The Shepparton Interfaith Network sends greetings “Eid Muburak” to all Muslims in the Goulburn Valley

 


 

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