Eid, in Arabic, quite literally means “Feast, or Festival”. There are usually two Eids in the Islamic calendar each year – Eid al Fitr and later in the year Eid al Adha. Want to find out more? Check out these interesting facts about Eid al Fitr!
1. How long does Eid last for?
Eid Al-Fitr is a three day celebration to mark the end of Ramadan and the end of fasting.
2. Eid is a fasting festival.
During the month of Ramadan, Muslisms fast from Sun up to sundown to honour the month that the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed.
3. Its name translates as such.
Eid al-Fitr is a literal translation of the event that’s being celebrated – ‘Festival of the Breaking of the Fast’ or ‘the Feast of Fast-Breaking’.
4. Eid has different start times, globally.
Across the world, Eid al-Fitr starts at different times – even on different days – depending on location because the celebration doesn’t begin until the new Moon appears in the sky.
5. Eid’s length varies from year to year.
The festival lasts typically for three days but depending on how it falls on the calendar, it could last much longer – if the three days fall mid week, Muslims will likely still be celebrating over the weekend.
6. It’s more than just a feasting festival.
The celebration isn’t only about having a feast of delicious food but also in exchanging gifts, especially to children. These gifts of money, accessories, home goods or flowers are called called ‘Eidi’.
7. Cleansing is important.
Before leaving to perform morning prayers, Muslims wake up to cleanse their bodies in a ritual called “Ghusl”. Then they grab their finest threads and decorate their hands with elaborate henna patterns – once after getting dressed and they are ready for the day.
Muslims gather for prayers in Mosques or outdoor locations. Afterwards, they may visit the graves of loved ones to pray and clean the gravesites.
8. The festival has various names.
Eid al-Fitr is known in different names across the Muslim world. Among the Muslim communities of Southeast Asia, it is also known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri or Hari Raya Puasa which means ‘celebration day’.
FAQs about Eid al-Fitr
Why do we celebrate Eid Al-Fitr?
Eid al-Fitr is very important in Islam, as it is a feasting festival started by the Prophet Muhammad, and many celebrate it to mark Ramadan’s end.
Is Eid like Christmas?
Eid and Christmas are two very different festivals for very different faiths, though they share some similarities, with regard to gift-giving and feasting.
Do people say ‘Happy Eid’?
It is traditional to wish people a blessed Eid during the festival, or ‘Eid Mubarak’.
Do you know any fun facts about Eid? Share them in the comments below!