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Everything you need to know about Eid-ul-fitr – the festival of prayers and charity

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  • Eid-ul-fitr, the Islamic festival of prayers and charity bids farewell to the month-long Ramadan fasting.
  • Eid ul fitr date will depend on the sighting of the crescent moon following the new moon day. In 2020, it might fall on Saturday, May 23, or Sunday, May 24.
  • In many countries, Eid-ul-fitr is celebrated for three days with prayers, outdoor festivals and celebrations.

The literal meaning of Eid ul fitr is “festival of breaking the fast”. Celebrated towards the end of the Ramadan month, Eid ul fitr is an occasion to pray, thank the almighty, give charity to the needy and feast with merriment.

Eid-ul-fitr in 2020

In the face of fighting the corona pandemic all over the world, this year, the way Eid ul fitr is celebrated could significantly vary. Many Muslim countries including Oman and Egypt have cancelled public gatherings and congregational prayers this year. In some countries, announcements have been made already enjoining Muslims to pray from home instead of visiting the mosques.

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Eid-ul-fitr date can vary

The date of Eid ul fitr in the calendar can only be marked tentatively. Because this is a lunar event, the actual date of Eid ul fitr is fixed just on the eve of the festival after sighting the crescent moon that appears on the day following the new moon day. If the crescent moon is not sighted, the Ramadan fasting extends for a day more and the festival is pushed to the next day. The date of the Eid ul fitr could also vary depending on the geographical location of the country. The local religious leaders in every country decide when Eid ul fitr will have to be celebrated after sighting the crescent moon.

Eid-ul-fitr celebrations

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Around the world, Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-fitr by arranging for a communal prayer post-dawn which will be usually followed by a sermon. These prayers might happen in large halls in most places.

If the gathering is large, Eid-ul-fitr special prayers could also be arranged in open places. After the prayers, people greet each other, visit their friends and relatives, share sweets and feast on delicious meals.

It is a common practice to offer new clothes, gifts and money to children and others on this day. Most people undertake charitable acts on occasion.

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How to greet on Eid

The most popular greetings for the Eid festival is “Eid Mubarak” which means ‘blessed Eid’. The other way of stating this is “Eid sa’id” which means ‘Happy Eid’. Some other popular greetings from around the world include ‘Selamat Lebaran’ in Indonesia, ‘Mutlu Bayramlar’ in Turkey and ‘Barka da Sallah’ in Nigeria.

The festive scene


In Muslim majority nations, the streets are decorated on Eid ul fitr with festive lights. Carnivals held on this day the mark the close of the holy month of Ramadan. Every country has its own typical dessert or sweet characteristic of Eid-ul-fitr celebrations. Some of the most popular delicacies prepared for the festival include special types of biscuits, cakes, puddings, and breads.

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