Ramadan 101: What is Eid?

Ramadan is coming to a close, and that means it’s time to celebrate Eid. If you’re not familiar with  Islamic holidays, you may have heard of Eid, but there are two holidays referred to by the word, so it can be confusing. Eid al-Adha is the festival of sacrifice, commemorating Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son Ishmael, and it will happen in August this year. But since Eid al-Fitr is happening this week, we’ll focus on that. Here are the basics.

Eid al-Fitr

What is it?

Eid al-Fitr is the celebration of the end of the Ramadan fast. The Islamic calendar is based on the cycle of the moon, so fasting is observed during the month of Ramadan, and Eid al-Fitr is therefore celebrated on the first day of the new month, the month of Shawwal.

When is it?

Because the date is based on the lunar cycle, the date of Eid varies from year to year and from country to country. The celebration itself can last for a day or even multiple days in some places. In the U.S., Eid is expected to begin tomorrow night (June 14th) and last until Friday night (June 15th).

How is it celebrated?

Eid is a time of joy and celebration. It’s a time of communal prayer, enjoying friends and family, exchanging gifts, giving charitable gifts, wearing new clothes, and of course eating lots of delicious (halal, of course) food!

Oh, and “Eid Mubarak” (meaning “blessed Eid”) is the usual greeting.

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