When is Eid al-Fitr in 2023 and how is it celebrated? Traditions explained
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. This is also a time when believers express gratitude to Allah for providing them with the opportunity and strength to carry out His commands during the blessed month of Ramadan. Eid al Fitr is traditionally observed for three days in almost all Muslim countries.
Eid al-Fitr is considered a custom season to Muslims and is to be followed and practised. Many Muslims from all around the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr. They always ensure that the teachings are passed on to all generations. Muslims also celebrate Eid al-Adha every year, which campaigns for faith and trust in the teachings of Allah.
When is Eid al-Fitr?
When is Eid 2023 anticipated to start? Eid al-Fitr is expected to take place on 20 April 2023 or 21 April 2023. These dates vary for different countries. The sighting of the new moon determines the beginning and the end.
What is Eid al-Fitr and how is it celebrated?
Eid was originated by the Islamic Prophet Muhammad, who is the founder of Islam. The Prophet arrived in Madinah and found people celebrating two festivities. They celebrated by entertaining themselves with recreation and merriment.
He asked them about the nature of these festivities, after which they replied that the days were occasions of fun and enjoyment. At that point, the Prophet remarked that the Almighty had fixed two days of festivity. The Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha festive holidays have been born.
This holiday or festival is also known as the "Festival of breaking the fast." It is celebrated to mark the end of the holy month, "Ramadan." Eid is the only day of the month of Ramadan that Muslims are not permitted to fast. They greet each other by saying "Eid Mubarak," - which means "Happy Holiday."
Eid al-Fitr concludes the 29 or 30 days of fasting by Muslims. It falls precisely on the first day of the month of Shawwal. During the Eid commencement, people offer special Islamic prayers. The Islamic prayer consists of two rakats (units), which are done in an open field or large hall.
The prayer can only be performed in a congregation (jama'at) and has six Takbirs. Hands are raised to the ears while saying "Allahu 'Akbar" to mean "God is the greatest." The six Takbirs are divided such that three of them are at the beginning of the first raka'ah and the other three just before ruku. This is according to the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam.
Shia Islam also has six Takbirs but recites them differently from Sunni Islam. Other Sunni Islam schools have 12 Takbirs; seven at the first and the other five at the beginning of the second raka'ah. The Eid al-Fitr depends on which opinion is followed and preference advised by the Muslims.
What is the purpose of Eid el Fitr?
The purpose of Eid al-Fitr is to celebrate the spiritual achievements gained during Ramadan, which include increased devotion to God, self-discipline, and acts of charity towards the poor and needy.
During the celebration, Muslims share the word with those that seek help. Sharing is one of the teachings of Islam.
It is also considered a public holiday in some countries and in the Muslim community. The festivity comes with the preparation of Eid cuisine and traditional delicacies. The food is also shared, and donations are made to the less fortunate. It is also a season of giving to charities.
In other countries, children receive a certain amount of money to spend throughout the holiday. Children also get to go around houses while being awarded candy or sweets. Families can also choose to visit amusement parks, enjoy rides and games, or even watch movies.
Women receive unique gifts from their loved ones during this festive season. Eid is one of the best holidays for the Muslim community. Elaborate banquets are set in some countries throwing a big feast to the community.
Most importantly to children, they wear new clothes bought, and women dress in their favourite attires. In other countries, Muslims listen to sermons in the mosque and later join the rest in the celebrations.
The holy month of Ramadan
Ramadan is the Islamic holy month of fasting (sawm). It commemorates when the Quran was first revealed to the Islamic Prophet, Muhammad. The fasting is done during the 29 or 30 days from dawn to sunset.
The Ramadan 2023 calendar dates the event to start on March 22 and will last for 29 or 30 days. However, the actual dates depend on the moon sighting and may vary by day.
The Islamic calendar used to date the holy event is a lunar calendar and indicates Ramadan as the ninth month. The holy month teaches the art of building a better relationship spiritually and not desiring earthly things. When fasting, the Muslim community follows specific guidelines to fully engage in the spiritual realm.
They abstain from drinking water, eating food, immoral acts, and anger. The guidelines are to be strictly followed during the holy month. Giving to charity, reciting verses from the Quran, and praying are some activities done during Ramadan.
As mentioned in the Quran, the Muslim community believes God commands them to continue their fast until the last day of Ramadan. They also pay the Zakat al-Fitr before offering the Eid prayers when the end of Ramadan approaches.
Is Eid al-Fitr a public holiday?
Yes, Eid al-Fitr is a public holiday in many countries worldwide, particularly in Islamic countries where Islam is the predominant religion. In countries where Islam is not the predominant religion, Eid al-Fitr may not be a public holiday, but employers may allow Muslim employees time off to celebrate the holiday.
What time is the Eid al-Fitr prayer?
The time for the Eid al-Fitr prayer may vary depending on the location and the local custom, but it is typically performed after the sun has risen and before noon. It is important to note that local Islamic authorities usually announce the timing of the Eid al-Fitr prayer, so it is advisable to check with your local mosque or Islamic centre for the exact time of the prayer in your area.
What is the difference between Eid al-Fitr and Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, during which Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. It is considered the holiest month in the Islamic calendar. It is observed as a time of spiritual reflection, increased devotion to God, and acts of charity towards the poor and needy. Muslims fast during this month to purify their souls and attain nearness to God.
On the other hand, Eid al-Fitr is a festival that marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan. It is celebrated on the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal and is a time of joy, gratitude, and celebration. Muslims break their fast on this day, exchange gifts, and spend time with family and friends.
How to greet on Eid al-Fitr
There are various ways to greet someone on Eid al-Fitr, but the most common greeting is "Eid Mubarak!" which means "Happy Holiday" or "Have a blessed festival!" This greeting is used to express well wishes and congratulations to friends, family, and colleagues who are celebrating the holiday.
Other common Eid al-Fitr greetings include:
- "Eid Saeed!" which means "Happy Eid!"
- "Taqabbal Allahu minna wa minkum", which means "May Allah accept from us and from you (our good deeds and worship)"
- "Kullu am wa antum bi-khair", which means "May every year find you in good health"
Most countries are looking to celebrate this year's Eid al-Fitr with pomp and glory. Muslims will come together to feast, enjoy, and share joy. The less fortunate are considered family and blessed during this festive season. Sharing and spreading love is essential during Eid. The holiday is expected to last for one to three days. Warm, welcoming hearts and eating to your fullest is what to expect on Eid al-Fitr.
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