Eid al-Fitr is one of the most important annual worldwide events in the Islamic calendar. It is marked by pious devotion, celebration and creating joyous moments with family. Here is a quick look into what Eid al-Fitr signifies and how it is celebrated.
Origins and importance
Eid al-Fitr is the smaller of two Eid celebrations in Islam, the other being Eid al-Adha, also known as the “greater Eid”. Eid al-Fitr, the ‘smaller’ Eid, immediately follows the month of Ramadan, which, according to a tradition widely observed by devout Muslims all over the world, consists of daily fasting from dawn to sundown. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar. Fasting during Ramadan commemorates the time when the holy Quran was revealed to the Islamic prophet Mohammed. The fasting is rather arduous and comprehensive as it involves shunning consumption of all kinds during the daytime, including not just food but also water, smoking, and the like.
Eid al-Fitr, as all other events in Islam, is based on the lunar calendar. It takes place on the first day of Shawwal, the tenth month of the lunar Islamic calendar. Eid-al-Fitr is an Arabic term which literally translates into “the festival of the breaking of the fast’.
The morning of Eid al-Fitr traditionally begins with a dawn prayer followed by a ritual of bodily cleansing and spiritual purification. After this Muslims don their finest clothes, which are often newly purchased specially for this occasion. Many also decorate their houses with new adornments. Dressed in their Eid al-Fitr best, Muslims go as families to the local mosques or to outdoor congregation areas for communal prayer assemblies. Many give charitable donations or ‘Zakat’ to the poor and homeless to make sure that the less fortunate are not left out of the festivities on this important and auspicious day. Some Muslims make use of a Zakat calculator to determine how much they should give to charity based on their income. Many Muslims also go to visit the graves of loved ones to offer prayers.
Eid al-Fitr is a time of celebration and festivity. People greet one another with “Eid Mubarak”; even to any strangers they happen to meet on this day. Since the event marks the end of a month of fasting, it is celebrated as a time of abundance, especially when it comes to tasty traditional treats. Not the least important part of Eid al-Fitr is gifts, particularly for the young ones. People exchange gifts of flowers, foods, household items and other useful things such as money. Snacks abound, most popularly the sweet ones. Gifts given on Eid are termed “Eidi”. The festival can last for three days and longer and is generally considered a time to be generous and hearty. Communal celebrations at homes and even at large rented event venues are common.
Eid al-Fitr 2019
This year Eid al-Fitr falls on the 4th of June in most of the world, although it could vary slightly depending on where on the International Date Line you are placed. Because the Islamic calendar is lunar, Eid al-Fitr is marked by the sighting of the moon. Your local mosque may be the most reliable source of information for the accurate start time of Eid this year.
Send money to India this Eid and get gifted
One of the most practical gifts to give on the festive occasion of Eid al-Fitr is money. This year you have a chance to give more than you transfer. Send Eidi via Ria and you could win big. To be eligible all you have to do is send money to India between 1st May 2019 to 5th June 2019 to be picked up in cash by your beneficiaries. Each Cash Pickup transfer enters into a lucky draw. Prizes include 50 daily giveaways of INR 1,000 each and one bumper prize at the end of the promo, of INR 100,000! Beneficiaries get to collect all the prizes. Check out the details here.