Eid Festival: Traditions and Celebrations

Eid-ul-Fitr is one of the most important festivals and dates in the Islamic calendar. It is steeped in years of religious history, ensuring that over the years, the occasion has gathered and developed its own unique set of traditions and customs.
Eid Mubarak
 Eid is a time for celebration, for family, for giving. It is a significant date and one that many Muslims across the world celebrate every year. Eid-ul-Fitr is the occasion that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan and represents the end of the fast. Therefore, it should be no surprise that the date holds so much significance for Muslims.

Although Eid is celebrated in a range of varying ways by people of different countries, cultures, and backgrounds, there are also a number of common rituals which link the tradition with the worldwide Muslim community as a whole. As the month of Ramadan begins to draw to a close, the minds of Muslims begin to look ahead, searching for the signs of the next full moon in the sky and preparing for the celebrations to come. Eid is a three-day long festival of celebration and since it is so important, plenty of preparation is essential.

Eid
Celebration, relaxation, family time, gifts, charity, and food are all hallmarks of Eid. However, religious duties are especially important during Eid – from visiting relatives to sharing generosity through giving to charity, all must be observed during this time.


So how does Eid play out? What are some of the main traditions that play a part in the occasion? And most importantly of all, what are the best ways for you and your loved ones to celebrate Eid this year?

Preparation

As Eid approaches, homes will be thoroughly cleaned, tidied and decorated in preparation for the festival. Since so many visitors are expected, it is important that your home is spotless!

On the morning of the first day of Eid-ul-Fitr, Muslims traditionally begin their day by heading to their local mosque for morning prayers. Often, a special ceremony in honor of Eid will be carried out, where daily prayers are adapted especially for Eid. Men will usually wear new white clothes, whereas women will take extra care in their appearance and will often apply henna artwork on their hands.

Food and Family

After returning from prayers and the mosque, families will gather together to enjoy their first midday daylight meal since the start of Ramadan. Food is a big part of the festival of Eid-ul-Fitr, with particular importance placed on the value of traditional home cooked dishes and sweets. As well as traditional meals and dishes, treats will also be baked. A sweet treat called Keek al-Eid is a big tradition typically enjoyed by both young and old at Eid.
Desserts
During Eid, families will journey to visit relatives and friends, sharing in the occasion and spreading their greetings and best wishes for Eid. It is traditional to offer food and drink to visitors at Eid, so food is definitely never a shortage at this time! This reunion is important as it allows families the opportunity to bond. Some family members will rarely see one another, so it is a great opportunity to reconnect with loved ones at this most special time of year.

Generosity

“Eid Mubarak” is the traditional greeting during this time, translating as ‘happiness for everyone’. This happiness is a central theme throughout Eid, as Muslims consistently strive towards greater levels of generosity, selflessness, and care for others. This is why another Eid tradition, Zakat, is so important.

Generosity
During Ramadan, it is considered a religious due for Muslims to pay Zakat. It can come as a monetary donation or in the form of foods like dates, raisins or crops like barley or wheat, all of which can then be used in the best possible ways to help those who are less fortunate than the giver. This Zakat is often given to charity or the local mosque to then be distributed to those who are the most in need, both in the local community and further afield. Since Ramadan and Eid are so important, it makes sense that they are times for the worldwide Muslim community to come together and share in this vital religious occasion united as one.

Gifts and Celebration

Eid is also an important occasion in the lives of Muslim children. Traditionally, gifts are given out to children by their family members. These gifts can range from sweets to clothing, but all are designed to help youngsters share in the experience and celebrations of Eid.

Eid Gifts
During the festival, in many countries with large Muslim populations, there will be special events like fairs, markets and fireworks displays organized to celebrate and bring people together to join in the joy of Eid.

While you and your family may decide not to participate in every single tradition, it is a certainty that Eid brings its very own unique set of celebrations. No matter how you choose to celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr, make sure to spend plenty of quality time with family and loved ones, sharing in the happiness of the occasion.

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