Monday, August 16, 2010

Ramadan & Eid al-Fitr

 Eid al-Fitr is celebrated on the 1st day of Shawwal, which is the month immediately following the month of Ramadan Ramadan and Shawwal are part of the Islamic lunar calendar, called the Hijri Calendar.  Muslims know when Ramadan begins and ends by observing the phases of the moon.  During the month of Ramadan, Muslims devote themselves to fasting and by increasing their spiritual devotions.

The Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan.  Its observance is usually held in a large open place and is attended by hundreds of Muslims.  Eid al-Fitr always starts before sunrise on the last day of Ramadan.  Participants shower and do ablution (ritual purification), put on new clothes (if possible), then go to the local mosque for the morning prayer of Subh.  This is followed by the Takbir, the collective chanting of Allahu akbar (“God is great”), which is then followed by the Eid prayer at sunrise.

The remaining Eid celebrations are held privately with family and friends.  During the last week of Ramadan, family members will come together to make special Eid cookies called Mamool which are filled with dates or nuts. During the Eid, people invite friends and relatives to visit, and they generously share food with relatives, friends and the poorer members of the community.  Children are also given gifts, and people traditionally buy new clothes for the whole family for the Eid.

Written By: Nadeen Abu-Khairan

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