Eid, in Arabic, quite literally means “Feast, or Festival”. There are usually two Eids in the Islamic calendar each year – Eid al Fitr and later in the year Eid al Adha. Take a look below for 10 interesting and awesome facts about Eid al-Fitr.
1. Eid Al-Fitr is a three day celebration to mark the end of Ramadan and the end of fasting.
2. During the month of Ramadan, Muslisms fast from Sun up to sundown to honour the month that the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed.
3. Eid al-Fitr is a literal translation of the event that’s being celebrated – ‘Festival of the Breaking of the Fast’ or ‘the Feast of Fast-Breaking’.
4. Across the world, Eid al-Fitr starts at different times – even on different days – depending on location because the celebration doesn’t begin until the new Moon appears in the sky.
5. The festival lasts typically for three days but depending on how it falls on the calendar, it could last much longer – if the three days fall mid week, Muslims will likely still be celebrating over the weekend.
6. The celebration isn’t only about having a feast of delicious food but also in exchanging gifts, especially to children. These gifts of money, accessories, home goods or flowers are called called ‘Eidi’.
7. Before leaving to perform morning prayers, Muslims wake up to cleanse their bodies in a ritual called “Ghusl”. Then they grab their finest threads and decorate their hands with elaborate henna patterns.
8. Once after getting dressed and they are ready for the day. Muslims gather for prayers in Mosques or outdoor locations. Afterwards, they may visit the graves of loved ones to pray and clean the gravesites.
9. Eid al-Fitr is known in different names across the Muslim world. Among the Muslim communities of Southeast Asia, it is also known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa which means ‘celebration day’.
10. The most common greeting on this occasion is ‘Eid Mubarak’ which means ‘Have a blessed Eid!’