Eid al-Fitr (End of Ramadan)

Eid al-Fitr is Muslim holiday that occurs on the first day of Shawwal and marks the end of Ramadan. In some countries, it may also start the beginning of a three day feast. Because the date of this holiday is set according to the lunar Islamic calendar, it is not possible to determine accurately using a Gregorian calendar because the end of Ramadan is set by the confirmed sighting of the new moon. And since different regions may not sight the new moon until different times, then the time of the celebrations may change from region to region.

Customs and Observances

At the end of Ramadan, before the beginning of this holiday, each family is expected to make a donation to the poor and needy. This is to make sure that the poor have enough food to partake in the feast and the celebration.

On a typical Eid al-Fitr, a Muslim will rise before sunrise to offer their pre-sunrise prayer – Salatul Fajr – before attending to personal cleanliness rituals such as showering and brushing their teeth as instructed by the Prophet Muhammad. They are also expected to refrain from fasting, to read the takbirat in an open field and to head to the Eid salaat early. Muslims are also expected to pay proper greeting to those they encounter throughout the day.

After fulfilling their obligations, Muslims will then take the time to visit with their friends and families, wish distant relatives best wishes for the holiday and give gifts to children.

In most Muslim countries, the entire three-day span is an official holiday. In most Western countries where it is observed by local Muslims, it is not.