Eid al-Fitr is a time of feasting and gifts. It marks the end of Ramadan and a month of religious fasting that will have been a testing but spiritually rewarding experience for many Muslims around the world.
In this post, we’ll take a look at Eid el Fitr. What is it? Why and when is it celebrated? What do you do during the celebrations? Does it differ by country? We answer all these questions and more below.
What does Eid al-Fitr mean?
So, what is Eid-al-Fitr about?
Eid al-Fitr means the “Festival of Breaking the Fast”. It is the first of two Eids of the Islamic (lunar) calendar year, the other being Eid al-Adha (which takes place in the summer months).
Eid al-Fitr rounds off the month of Ramadan, which Muslims observe every year to acknowledge Allah’s revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad.(culturetrip)
On Eid-al-Fitr, the appropriate greeting is “Eid Mubarak”. So if you’re not a Muslim but you want to greet and celebrate with your Muslim friends or family you can say “Eid Mubarak”.
When is Eid al-Fitr celebrated?
In 2023 Eid al-Fitr is expected to begin on the evening of Friday, April 21, 2023, in North America and Saturday, April 22, 2023, in the United Kingdom.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the month of Ramadan, the holiest month of the year for Muslims. Ramadan is the ninth month in the Islamic calendar. The Islamic calendar is based around the lunar cycle so the exact dates of Ramadan change by the same number of days every year. So, the same is true for Eid al-Fitr.
The end of Ramadan is a particularly significant time for Muslims. In the lead up to Eid al-Fitr, during the final ten days of Ramadan, Muslims celebrate the Laylat Al Qadr, which is the holiest night of the year. It commemorates the night that the Quran was first revealed to the Prophet Muhammad.
In the days preceding Eid al-Fitr, Zakat donations, a form of obligatory charity, are made. ‘Zakat’ means ‘to cleanse’ and by making donations Muslims believe they and their wealth are purified and blessed.
Why is Eid al-Fitr celebrated?
After a month of religious reflection, Eid al-Fitr is considered to be a time to celebrate with your friends and family. Even for more Muslims who have not strictly observed Ramadan every day of the month, Eid al-Fitr can be a great chance to reconnect with the spiritual purpose behind their faith.
People say ‘Eid Mubarak’ on Eid al-Fitr because it refers to having a blessed day. It is a day of celebration and also a day for Muslims to be grateful for their faith, family and friends. The day also offers a chance for Muslims to think and pray for those in more difficult circumstances.
Eid al-Fitr around the world
Eid al-Fitr is celebrated in almost every country around the world. It is interesting to see the differences in Eid al-Fitr holidays from one country to the next.
Do they celebrate the same in Nigeria as they do in Turkey?
In Turkey it is usually beautiful and sunny during the Eid al-Fitr holiday. In past years you will have seen “many Turks flock to the beach during the Eid al–Fitr holiday to take advantage of the hot weather...Fishing, swimming, and other fun–filled activities ensue at these sandy coasts as family and friends take advantage of the long public holiday to rest and relax.”(th)
There are both similarities and differences to the way Eid is celebrated in Nigeria. “Eid is known as ‘small sallah’ by Nigerian Muslims, and on the first day, Muslims go to mosque for prayer dressed in their new clothes, followed by festivities in the form of sharing meals with family.
Children receive gifts from family members and neighbours, and dishes eaten include meat and starches such as rice and amala. Schools close for the duration of Eid celebrations, and along with sharing meals with family and gift-giving to children, the elders of communities organise parties as part of the festivities”(Africa.com)
Check out this video that shows Eid al-fitr celebrations all around the world. Muslims from Sydney, Australia, Bamako, Mali and Dhaka, Bangladesh can be seen marking the end of Ramadan with glorious festivities and religious celebrations.
In Eid al-Fitr celebrations around the world you can really see the magnificent diversity in the Muslim population and the different ways they enjoy the company of family and friends.
Give a gift to your loved ones
Eid al Fitr is the end of Ramadan, so a perfect time for gift giving. If you don’t want to send a physical gift or you're stuck for ideas you might want to send money. This will let your loved ones have some freedom to buy what they want.
You can send money easily and securely with Small World. Our money transfer service will help you get your money where it needs to be so you can ensure your loved ones can celebrate Eid al-Fitr. We hope you enjoy your Eid al-Fitr celebration!
Ramadan Kareem, from us to you!