By: Mascha Cenia, Social Media Editor, The Pawprint
Eid al-Fitr, the first of two canonical festivals celebrated within the religion of Islam. This holiday marks the end of the holy month-long fasting and is celebrated by Muslims all around the world.
The dates of Eid fall on the first day of Shawwal which is the 10th month in the Islamic Calendar. Since Eid al-Fitr is celebrated worldwide, there are many different ways people mark and honor this religious holiday. “Eid is a time of celebration after accomplishing one of the most important religious duties: fasting during the month of Ramadan”. Maswood Ahmed, a member of the Muslim Council of Britain, said.
Usually, the day starts with a prayer right before and a big meal before sunrise. When the sun sets Muslims break their fast with a meal eaten, called Iftar.
Just after dawn, the Eid prayer takes place and is mandatory for all those who are able to pray. Usually, the prayer is performed in a public area such as a park or mosque. It is very common to wear new clothes to the prayer. Before Covid-19, after the prayer, family and friends would come together and have a large breakfast at home.
In many countries such as in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Indonesia, Egypt, Pakistan and Tunisia, Eid al-Fitr is a public holiday however for many Muslims around the world it is not.
Spending The Time With Loved Ones
Eid is all about spending the holiday with loved ones such as friends and family. It is common to have larger gatherings and to celebrate with many family members to show their appreciation and gratitude. Due to the pandemic, it is a lot harder to celebrate with all family members but video calls still make up for it.
Gifts For The Younger Ones
Traditionally, parents or adults put together small gifts or a bit of money as a present during Eid. This is called Eidiya, which translates to Eid money. Because Eid is all about enjoying plenty and “fostering love” in a tasteful way following the introspective month of Ramadan, these presents are given.
Eid al-Fitr, also known as the sugar feast. Referred to by many because a large part of the meal one eats during the holidays is made up of desserts and sweets.
Here are a couple of different sweats each country prefers:
During Eid, or Seker Bayrami as it is called in Turkey, traditional Turkish sweets such as Baklava and Turkish delight are presented as gifts to friends, family, and neighbors.
Yemeni sweet bint al sahn is the most favored. It’s also known as honey cake in English, and it’s topped with nigella seeds.
Saudi Arabia and Iraq:
Dates are a common snack eaten at the pre-dawn meal before the fast in both Ramadan and Eid, and they are a very significant element of both (called the Suhoor). Many people will prepare Kleichas, which are rose-flavored biscuits with a nut and date filling. They are considered national cookies in both Iraq and Saudi Arabia.
United Arab Emirates:
The UAE’s favorite Eid sweet is Luqaimat. They are drizzled with date molasses dumplings and are often served with small sticks to enjoy these delights mess free.
Giving To Charity
One of the five pillars of Islam is to give to charity. During Ramadan, every Muslim who has the means is obligated to donate to charity at some time until the morning of Eid al-Fitr (before the fajr/dawn prayer). This donation is called the Zakat Al Fitr. Unlike irregular charitable contributions, zakat is a reasonable payment depending on the payer’s income and calculated as a percentage – comparable to a tax. All adult Muslims who earn a certain amount of money each year – known as nisab – are required to pay zakat.
To commemorate Eid, most Muslims throughout the world will decorate their houses with traditional lights, and cities will be illuminated with festive displays. Fireworks are also popular nowadays.