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What is Eid?

You might have come across the festival of Eid ul Fitr multiple times. However, there might have been doubts regarding what is Eid and how is Eid celebrated. Well for starters, the festival of Eid ul Fitr is by no doubt one of the biggest festivals of Islam religion. This festival is celebrated after the festival of Ramzan. However, you might be wondering why is Eid Celebrated. To understand the same here is a brief account of the same while also exploring the history of Eid ul Fitr.

According to the calendar followed by Islam people, Eid ul Fitr is celebrated every year on the first day of the 10th Shawwal. When the festival of Eid is celebrated is decided by the rising of the moon. Eid ul Fitr is also called Meethi Eid or Chhoti Eid.

History of Eid:

The festival of Eid is considered to be one of the most important in order to follow all the five rules of Islam. This mainly includes the Hajj Pilgrimage, Namaz, fasting, faith, and Zakat. According to the history of Eid ul Fitr, it is believed that the festival was first celebrated for the first time in 624 AD. Eid ul Fitr was initially started by Prophet Muhammad. It is said that it is on this day that Prophet Hazrat Muhammad won the battle of Badr. People expressed their happiness regarding the same by distributing sweets. This festival is hence celebrated by preparing many types of dishes. Since then Meethi Eid is now celebrated every year before Bakri Eid is celebrated. During this festival, Muslims do not just celebrate the completion of Ramadan but also thank Allah for the faith that was brought through the Quran.

According to the history of Eid ul Fitr, it is during this month that Muslims fought the first war which took place in the city of Badr located in the Median Province of Saudi Arabia. This is also why this war is called Jang-e-Badar. Muslims were quite victorious during this war.

How is Eid celebrated?

The traditions followed during Eid ul Fitr can vary widely based on where they originate from. Especially when it comes to food there can be many differences. However, there are also a lot of things that remain the same universally. Eid is mainly focused on celebrating the end of a month of fasting and spending quality time with friends, family, and people within the community. Giving thanks to God is core which is exactly why on the morning of Eid, Muslims offer a special congregational Eid prayer.

In the few last days of Ramadan, the head of each family is obligated to pay a certain amount as charitable tax which is also known as Fitra or Zakat Al Fitr. This is donated to help those who are less fortunate to celebrate the occasion. Even when they are celebrating, Muslims must be mindful of the families that come under the wider community who may be struggling so that no one is left out.

Muslims dress up on the morning of Eid in their best outfits which are often brand new clothes and a lot of people also decorate their house for this festival. They then greet one another on Eid day by saying Eid Mubarak which also means ‘Blessed Eid’ while also exchanging hugs. This is to great unity in diversity while also enhancing good will in the society. People also often visit their relatives throughout the day while enjoying food at every house they visit. A few of the delicacies found during the celebration of Eid can be provided as follows:

  • Baklava
  • Mango custard
  • Kanafeh
  • Stuffed Dated
  • Butter Cookies
  • Sweet Buns

Why is Eid Celebrated twice a year?

Now comes the main question as to why is Eid celebrated twice a year. Well, according to the Islamic calendar, there are two major Eid festivals which are celebrated as follows:

Eid Al Fitr

Eid Al Fitr is celebrated for at least two to three days with celebration and special morning prayers. Sweet dishes are prepared at home and gifts are mainly given out to children and for those who are in need. Muslims are also additionally encouraged to forgive and seek forgiveness. Practices however may vary from country to country. In countries majorly populated with Muslims tend to consider Eid Al Fitr as a national holiday. Schools, businesses, and offices remain closed to celebrate the festival with families, neighbors, and friends.

Eid Al Adha

The second festival that Muslims celebrate is Eid Al Adha which is also commonly known as the feast of the sacrifice. It comes at the end of the Hajj which is an annual pilgrimage conducted by millions of Muslims to the holy city of Mecca located in Saudi Arabia. This Hajj pilgrimage is obligatory once in a lifetime however only for those with means.

Now why is Eid celebrated? Well, Eid Al Adha is such a festival that tends to recall the story about how God had commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail in a test conducted to check his faith. The story, as narrated in the Quran recalls the day when God commanded Ibrahim to sacrifice his son Ismail as a test of faith. However, Satan tempts Ibrahim so that he would disobey God’s command. Ibrahim however remains unwavering and informs Ismail who is willing to be sacrificed. However just as Ibrahim attempts to kill his son, God sends a ram, and this ram is placed as an offering to God. It is hence during Eid Al Adha that Muslims slaughter an animal to remember Ibrahim’s sacrifice to submit to the will of God.

Eid Celebration in different parts of the world.

Now that you know why is Eid celebrated in various parts of the world here is everything about how is Eid celebrated in various parts of the world. This brief account shows how it varies from region to region.

Eid in UAE

Eid is definitely one of the most significant events that occur in the UAE. It marks the end of the religious month of Ramadan and the preparations tend to begin several days before the festival. People tend to decorate their homes with lights and ornaments and buy new clothes. On the day of Eid, Muslims gather for their prayers. It is also during this time that Muslims meet their friends and family members to share greetings and celebrate together. Charity is also an essential part of this festival.

Eid in Saudi Arabia

In Saudi Arabia, Eid celebrations start with the sighting of the new moon after which Muslims offer Eid prayers in mosques and greet Eid Mubarak. The day is also marked by feasting and spending time with their friends and families. People also give gifts to the elderly and children. There are also cultural shows that take place in Saudi Arabia.

Eid in Turkey

In Turkey, Eid is called Seker Bayrami which also means Sugar Feast. This name indicates the sweet treats which are an essential part of the celebration. Turkish people start their day by washing and putting on new clothes. They then visit their elders to seek forgiveness and blessings. There is also the preparation of sweets such as Baklava and halva.

Eid in New Zealand

In New Zealand, Eid is celebrated with morning prayers in mosques or outdoor locations. This is also followed by feasts consisting of traditional foods. Public Eid festivals have also become quite famous in Aukland, Christchurch, and Wellington. There are multiple cultural performances and a fun-filled event at Eden Park which takes place.

Eid in India

While celebrating Eid in India, one can see preparations such as Biryani, Sheer Khurma, Kebabs, and various sweet dishes. The Indian subcontinental also brings in a rich cultural heritage which is beautifully reflected during the time of the Eid festival. There is unity in diversity and the celebrations are taken part by not just Muslims but also by Christians and Hindus are equally a part of the festival.

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What are the facts about Eid al-Fitr?

Here are a few facts about Eid Al Fitr

  • Eid is celebrated after a month of fasting called Ramadan.
  • The date on which Eid is celebrated is based on the Moon
  • The celebrations usually last for 3 days
  • People greet each other saying Eid Mubarak.

How long is Ramadan?

The period of Ramadan continues for 30 days during which adult Muslims of able mind and body fast between dusk and dawn and break the fast with a traditional meal called Iftar.

Which are the pillars of Islam?

There are 5 pillars of Islam such as

  • Prayer
  • Profession of Faith
  • Alms
  • Fasting
  • Pilgrimage