Today is the celebration of Eid al-Fitr. This year, Ramadan lasted 30 days with Muslims around the world fasting for the duration.
Translating to “the feast of breaking the fast” in English, Eid al-Fitr falls on a UK bank holiday in 2022—much to the delight of the many Muslims who are based here.
Curious to find out more about Eid al-Fitr? Here are 5 facts about Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr.
It starts with a crescent moon
This year, the Islamic holy month of Ramadan began on 2nd April 2022 for most Muslims. But for others, it commenced on the following day. It all depends on when the crescent moon is spotted in the sky.
Ramadan then follows the lunar cycle, lasting 29 or 30 days depending on when the next crescent moon appears. It always takes place during the 9th month of the Islamic calendar.
Muslims fast for the duration
Well, not all Muslims fast. But most of them do. If you’re over the age of 14, Muslims are expected to abstain from eating, drinking, smoking and sexual activities during the hours of daylight. However, those who are pregnant, breastfeeding, elderly or unwell aren’t expected to do so.
Before and after each day of fasting, Muslims have two special meals. The first, Suhoor is eaten at sunrise, while Iftar (meaning “break of the fast”) is eaten at sunset.
Eid al-Fitr is a big celebration
The end of Ramadan is marked by a large celebration called Eid al-Fitr. The celebration lasts three days and sees Muslims come together with family and friends for morning prayers, followed by the preparation and sharing of large meals.
Muslims also often decorate their homes and give each other gifts. They also often donate to charity so that those less fortunate can join in the celebration.
It’s also sometimes referred to as the ‘Sugar Feast’
Thanks to the large amounts of desserts eaten, Eid al-Fitr is often referred to as the ‘Sugar Feast’.
Different countries around the world have different favourites. For example, Muslims in Turkey often eat Baklava and Turkish delight and those in Iraq and Saudi Arabia favour dates as snacks before the pre-dawn meal. Meanwhile, Muslims in Yemen prefer Bint al sahn, a Yemeni sweet topped with nigella seeds.
Ramadan is a time for growth and reflection
The purpose of Ramadan is for Muslims to grow, spiritually reflect, spend time with loved ones and help those in need. It’s also a time to connect and become closer to Allah and family and friends.
The point of fasting itself is to nourish the soul and learn patience and compassion.
To all those celebrating Eid today, we wish you Eid Mubarak!
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