Eid-ul-fitr 2024

10 April 2024
All States    Regional holiday

Eid-al-Fitr also has written and pronounced as Eid-ul-Fitr, is the first of two Eids of the Islamic calendar year. It rounds off the month of Ramadan, which Muslims celebrate every year to acknowledge Allahs revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. This Eid comes after the holy month of Ramadan when many Muslims will not eat or drink during the daytime for a 29- or 30-day period. Its part of Sawm or fasting commitment, one of the five pillars of Islam. This festival is all about the breaking of the dawn-to-dusk fast and is celebrated on the first day of Shawwal. It falls approximately 11 days earlier than the one the previous year when following the Gregorian calendar.

The exact date for Eid-ul-Fitr is never decided far in advance, as religious authorities in various countries rely on the sighting of the Eid crescent moon to announce when it will officially begin. It can be delayed by a day if the sky is too bright when the moon is out, or if clouds obstruct it. This is also the reason Ramadan can start on different days in different parts of the world.

Muslims give an obligatory payment to charity (Zakat al-Fitr), but this one is a smaller donation compared with the usual 2.5-per cent zakat that wealthy Muslims are taxed on Eid. This is another of the five pillars of Islam. In addition to these payments, some Muslims take the initiative to work voluntarily at soup kitchens and hand out their own food to those in need of relief.

Gifting is a big part of the celebrations of Eid. Children receive media offerings in money bags, and sweet treats such as cookies and dates are exchanged among loved ones, neighbours, colleagues, friends and even strangers. Family members will also buy one another presents, although most of these are saved for the youngest members of each family.