Eid al Fitr is the Arabic name given to the first of two celebration days in the Muslim calendar.
Eid al Fitr means “the festival of breaking the fast,” and signals the end of the holy month of Ramadan, the 9th month in the Islamic calendar. During Ramadan, Muslims fast for 29 or 30 days consecutively, during the hours of sunrise to sunset. It represents a huge event in their year and a time for great spiritual reflection and sacrifice.
As a result of this achievement, the first day of Eid al Fitr is a significant celebration. It is a time to celebrate with friends, family and neighbours as well as feel gratitude and joy for all the blessings that we have.
Ramadan begins at the sighting of the new moon
The Islamic calendar is a lunar one, so each new month begins with the sighting of the new crescent. This is why the crescent symbolism is so significant to Islamic culture. Ramadan begins for each country, with the sighting of the new moon; and likewise the first day of Eid is announced the same way. For these reasons, both Ramadan and Eid will begin on different days of the Gregorian calendar every year.
When is Eid al Fitr in 2023?
In the Islamic calendar, holiday celebrations start at sunset of the previous day. Therefore In the United Kingdom, Eid al Fitr will begin in the evening of Friday, 21 April 2023 and will end in the evening of Saturday, 22 April 2023.
Eid al Fitr is also referred to as the ‘lesser Eid’
Despite all the festivities, Eid al Fitr is actually known as the lesser Eid. It lasts three days, whilst the second Eid ‘Eid al Adha’ lasts five. The second Eid is one which celebrates the end of the Hajj season- where Muslim pilgrims make a trip to visit Mecca and complete some rights of worship there.
You might have heard the traditional Eid greeting of “Eid Mubarak”, which translates to “blessed festival/feast”. Worshippers often start their Eid day with a visit to the mosque, where they send good wishes to the wider community with a congregational prayer, followed by hugs and greetings. The rest of the day is usually spent with closer friends and family members. Muslims share food with each other and make sweet treats for the guests who stop by for a visit.
Muslims today, typically celebrate Eid by decorating their homes and exchanging gifts to commemorate their achievement of fasting, which can sometimes be difficult - particularly during the longer days at that time of year. Gifts or money are also given to little ones, who love to attempt a full fast or half days with their families. The Ramadan and Eid season is absolutely a time for families to draw closer and spread love between one another.
Wishing you all a blessed Eid al Fitr, from everyone at Eid Party!