Eid-ul-Fitr, one of the most celebrated festivals in Islam, marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan, a month when Muslims across the world hold fast from dawn to dusk. Muslims celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr in the month of Shawwal. They offer special prayers on this day. On this day, they congregate in open spaces, mostly at mosques, and pray for their well-being and progress.
Because Islam has its own calendar, the Hijri calendar, the dates of Islamic holidays shift every year in the Gregorian calendar. The Hijri calendar is a totally lunar calendar that estimates how long it takes for the moon to complete each phase. The start of any Islamic month is marked by the sighting of a new crescent moon by religious officials.
A lunar year has 12 months but roughly 354 days, which is about 11 days fewer than a solar year. As a result, each year the dates of Islamic holidays advance by 10-11 days.
Eid al-Fitr always falls on the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month according to the Islamic calendar.
This year, Eid-ul-Fitr is expected to begin on the evening of May 2 and culminate in the evening of May 3.
History and significance
It is believed that the Holy Quran was first revealed to Prophet Muhammad during the month of Ramadan. So, Muslims consider this a holy month and hold fast from dawn to dusk and dedicate themselves to praying to Allah. Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of this month. With a sumptuous meal, get-togethers Muslims celebrate this festival to mark the successful completion of Ramadan.
Since they have refrained from eating during the day, Muslims plan elaborate meals for Eid-ul-Fitr. Feasts are organised in every Muslim household and dishes like pulao, saalan, biryani, haleem, nihari, kebabs, kofte, and much more are prepared. The big draws of this day are the classic seviyan, sheer korma, shahi tukda and phirni. Muslims dress up in new clothes and greet each other.
Eid-ul-Fitr is a time for families to get together and devote themselves to prayer. Muslims visit mosques to pray under an open sky.
It is also customary to wear a fresh new outfit on Eid-ul-Fitr.
Families also shower gifts on their loved ones. Though children often receive most of the attention, gifts are freely distributed among friends and relatives.