The end of Ramadan is marked by a special festival called Eid al-Fitr – the Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.
Eid al-Fitr can last from 1-3 days. In the UK, the 2020 celebrations start on the evening of Sunday 24 May.
The exact date and time of Eid al-Fitr isn’t finally confirmed until quite close to it happening. This is because Islam uses the lunar calendar (based on the cycles of the moon). Therefore Ramadan ends and Eid al-Fitr begins after the first sight of the new moon is seen in the sky.
The aim of the celebration is to promote peace and bring yourself back to the normal course of life after Ramadan – the long month of self-restraint and religious devotion. Muslims will not only celebrate the end of fasting, but will also thank Allah for the help and strength that he gave them throughout the previous month. The festival is also a time for forgiveness and making amends. Another Eid ul-Fitr tradition is known as ‘Zakat ul-Fitr’ which is the practice of giving money to the poor so those less fortunate can join in the feast.
Celebrations this year are very different to normal, due to the pandemic and the restriction on mass gatherings. Usually during Eid ul-Fitr, most Muslims will visit a mosque and participate in prayer before sitting down with family and friends for their first daylight meal after fasting. However, this year, as in Ramadan, all prayers are at home. After prayers, the large celebration meal will only be for those in that household, although many families will sue technology to bring them closer together. Often at Eid, children are given presents and new clothes.
If you wish to greet a Muslim celebrating Eid al Fitr, then use the words “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Eid).