This article was published on Muslim on 5/24/2020, and has been republished with permission of Muslim.
Whether you are Muslim or not, the celebration of Eid-al-Fitr is acknowledged around the world by many of all faiths. Eid is a time for blessings and joys throughout the Muslim community, but because it is a day of charity, it is a day to distribute one’s wealth. In short, it is a time of celebrations worldwide for all Muslims. Let’s elaborate.
What is Eid-al-Fitr?
Eid-al-Fitr is a direct translation of “Festival of the Breaking of the Fast.” Eid-al-Fitr is actually a three day long celebration after the end of Ramadan everyday from dawn to dusk. Determining Eid-al-Fitr all comes down to a moon sighting, just like Ramadan; if the crescent moon isn’t seen, Ramadan will go on for another day. If it is seen, Eid Mubarak!
How does the day begin?
Celebrations begin at a specific Eid prayer, in mosques, surrounded by your family and friends that you typically see during the month of Ramadan. After prayers, everyone congratulates each other for the ending of this blessed month. Usually, next is the visiting of graves for your loved ones after the conclusion of Eid prayers, to clean the gravesites and dawn the graves with fresh flowers.
How do Muslims celebrate?
Muslims wear their newest clothes or their finest clothes. Muslims decorate their homes with Eid decorations, lanterns, and twinkling lights. Everyone makes special foods for when their family and friends are invited over to come celebrate alongside them. Muslims visit their relatives’ homes as a way to celebrate with their loved ones.
Hands are covered in henna patterns, often applied in the nights before to serve as preparation for this three day long period. Gifts are given to children and those in need, which are commonly known as Eidi.
I don’t know what’s better than those post-Eid naps, and jumping from house to house with iced coffee in your hands.
What is Eidi? Eid is still a day of charity. Eidi is referred to as the money and gifts given to the children of the family by elders; it could be relatives, parents, siblings, anyone at all. Eidi gifts are given as another way of celebrating this joyous day. Children will definitely refer to their Eidi as their favorite part of the day!
How is this year different?
This year, sadly our mosques are closed because of coronavirus (COVID-19). Our Eid prayers this year will have to be done from the comfort of our homes for many. With the health regulations put in place, jumping from house to house will not be allowed. Visiting our family will have to be done at a later time, and we will have to be ending this month long of fasting at home.
Nonetheless, many will still be dressed in our new clothes, we will be making all the yummy foods, and we will still be finding small ways to celebrate!