Eid Al Fitr- The Feast Of Breaking the Fast
Eid Al Fitr is a religious day celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. Every nation celebrates Eid in specific ways of its own, as the ways to celebrate it differ according to its cognitive and religious culture.
Different nations have distinct character on the holidays, as it harmonizes on its feasts with forms of obedience to God Almighty.
Eid Al-Fitr begins just the day after the end of Ramadan lasting three days, and is confirmed with the rising of the new moon. Ramadan is one of the best known Islamic festivals and traditions. It is a sacred month (the ninth of your calendar) in which fasting and other religious activities are practiced during the hours of sunlight .
Ramadan changes dates every year because Muslims follow the lunar calendar. This 2021, the holy month began on 13th of April, and now ends, the week of May 12th, beginning the Eid-al-Fitr holiday, which ends Ramadan in a festive and supportive way.
Eid means “holiday” in Arabic, while Fitr means “breaking the fast”.
How is Eid Al Fitr celebrated?
The beginning of this festival begins with the Eid prayer in the mosque. After the ceremony, all those present happily greet each other with the greeting “Allahu Akbar”, which means ”God is great”. Also, “Eid Mubarak”, the arabic greetings, although in some countries they can use their local languages.
The end of the fast is done surrounded by family and friends having breakfast at home cooking a sweet dish. It is also customary to give gifts to the little ones and wear new clothes to visit family or friends. The devotees wear their best costumes, even if possible, they wear new clothes to attend the special prayer where the Takbir is recited, a prayer of praise to Allah.
The Takbir is recited after confirming that the Shawwal moon is seen on the eve on the last day of Ramadan. Before beginning the prayer, all the devotees (men, women and children) must pay for the month of Ramadan. The mosque collects What is to be paid is the equivalent of 2 kilograms of food (wheat, barley, dates, raisins, etc.) or its value in money and it is collected in the mosque. Afterwards, everything collected is distributed among the Muslims most in need before beginning the Eid prayer. This payment can be made at any time within the month of Ramadan. The Eid prayer is followed by a sermon (a speech on a religious or moral subject) and then prayed for forgiveness.
How beautiful right! It is customary for people to hug those sitting next to them afterwards. After the congregation, family and friends are usually visited. Though this year as we continue our lives in the 2nd wave of Covid 19, we request all to stay home and celebrate indoors for the safety of everyone around. Once when we win from this ferocious pandemic, we all will get together and celebrate the feast remembering the Almighty.
Later on the devotees spend the entire day thanking the creator for his blessing, as well as giving him joy and festivity. Children are usually given sweets and money. Men often give their women a special gift as an expression of love. The Eid holiday is considered a day for reconciliations. Enmities and disputes, especially between members of the same family, are tried to be forgotten on this day.
How is Eid Al Fitr celebrated in South Asia?
At the end of the holy month of Ramadan, in which Muslims fast from dawn to dusk and perform extra prayers, the festival of spotting the new moon (the beginning of a new Muslim month) is celebrated.
In Bangladesh, India, and Pakistan, the night before Eid is called Chand Raat, or night of the moon. People visit bazaars, markets, and shopping centers with their families. Women, especially younger ones, paint each other’s hands with henna and wear colored bracelets. The way to congratulate each other on Eid is by saying “Eid Mubarak.” Children congratulate their elders, consequently in most cases some coins that are called Eidi are given to the little ones.
On the morning of Eid Al-Fitr, after taking a cool bath, Muslims dress in their best clothes. Men and boys go to the mosque or open places called Eidgah for special prayer, and they thank God for allowing them to enjoy the holy month.
Muslims pay the Zakat al-Fitr (money intended for charitable purposes) before the Eid prayer, which is then intended to the poor, thus allowing them to enjoy this celebration.
Some devotees go to the cemetery to pray for the salvation of the souls who have already left. And normally children visit the elderly and their neighbors as a symbol of respect and gratitude.
Some special dishes that are made in India and around are sivayyan (fine, toasted vermicelli noodles) and biryani (flavoured rice with meat). After visiting friends and family, many people attend parties, special carnivals or fairs in the parks (with picnics, fireworks, etc.). Many bazaars, shopping malls and restaurants are in full swing these days. Some wealthy people take the opportunity to distribute Zakat, Islam’s obligatory alms, among those most in need.
The social importance of Eid Al-Fitr
Every festival has its own value and importance, Eid Al-Fitr is one that brings people together of all caste and creed. It is one such festival that we all wait for irrespective of our religion. Below there are some significance and importance of Eid Al-Fitr.
- Renewal of energy and activity for individuals.
- Achieving communication and bonding between individuals, through the exchange of visits and Eid greetings.
- Strengthening social relations, a strong outcome of the Eid.
- Achieving reassurance for individuals, and spreading happiness, and psychological comfort.
- Achieving some aspects of social solidarity among community members, by inspecting needy families.
- Cohesion, and strength of society, through the celebration, where most of the community members meet and greet.
- The reunion of relatives and loved ones, especially those who separated them from the different circumstances and concerns of life.
- To strengthen the resolve of nations and renew their spirit; in order to continue its path towards good, development, and goodness.
- Expressing the nation’s belief in its religious and cultural heritage.
The celebration of Eid-Al-Fitr is certainly the inherent spirit of the entire festival. This festival is also an interpretation of good time to bring people together in harmony and gratitude. It is a festival that reminds us to help the poor and needy. We know this Eid will not be like before due to the Covid 19 outbreak. But let us all hope and pray to the Almighty that he showers his blessings and helps us defeat this pandemic.
With the hope that things will be normal around, let us celebrate this Eid Al Fitr at home. May the blessing of Allah be with you today, tomorrow and forever. Eid da Mubarak to you!