How Is the Islamic Holiday Eid Al-Fitr Celebrated?

Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim holiday that is celebrated over a three-day period, starting at the end of Ramadan, which is a holy month of fasting for Muslims. Generally, the event starts with the sighting of the new moon. On the first day of Eid al-Fitr, Muslims pray a pre-dawn prayer known as Salat ul-Fajr.

After the pre-dawn prayer, some Muslims typically clean up and wear perfume before having breakfast, then perform special congregational prayers known as Salaat al-Eid. On the way to the prayer grounds, a declaration of faith, known as takbir, is recited. Upon arriving at a local mosque or prayer ground, they offer charitable contributions known as Zakat al-Fitr.

There are Muslims from diverse cultures that celebrate the holiday differently, but generally, there are large feasts and festivals with close family and friends and gifts are passed amongst one another. Some Muslims hang up lights or decorate their arms with henna tattoos while wearing festive attire and jewelry. A commonly said greeting during this time of the year is "Eid Mubarak," meaning, "Have a blessed Eid."

Eid al-Fitr symbolizes a fresh start after the time of spiritual reflection and sense of community that comes with Ramadan. Muslims see Eid al-Fitr as a time to celebrate and express gratitude for their blessings, and for one another.