Eid is a time for celebration in the Islamic faith – and there’s actually not just one Eid, but two.
The first, Eid-al Fitr, follows Ramadan – a test of devotion and endurance as people will undergo a month of fasting and prayer.
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Eid celebrations were impacted last year by lockdowns and this year again Ramadan and Eid-al Fitr celebrations will be smaller in scale than under normal circumstances because of restrictions.
Here is all you need to know about Eid 2021…
When does Ramadan 2021 end?: Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar and started on the evening of Monday, April 12, and is expected to end on Tuesday, May 11, lasting for 30 days.
The exact date depends on the sighting of the new moon, so can vary from country to country.
Throughout the Ramadan period, adult Muslims of able body and mind start their day-time fasting before sunrise with a pre-dawn meal called ‘Suhur’.
During this time, studying the Quran, donating money to the poor, and committing more time to prayers is encouraged.
When is Eid-al Fitr 2021?: Eid al-Fitr is also called the ‘Festival of Breaking the Fast’ and celebrates the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan.
Eid-al Fitr will last for one day – between Wednesday, May 12, and Thursday, May 13.
It coincides with the end of Ramadan and is celebrated during the first three days of Shawwal, the tenth month of the Islamic calendar.
Like the start of Ramadan, this is subject to the official sighting of the crescent moon, and may vary in different countries – observers will look for the first sighting on the 29th day of Ramadan.
If the moon is seen, Ramadan is deemed to have ended. If it isn’t, then it goes on another day and Shawwal starts the day after that.
What happens during Eid-al Fitr? In a complete opposite to Ramadan, it is forbidden to fast during Eid-al Fitr. The festival will generally be celebrated with meals with communities, and it is sometimes referred to as the Sugar Feast, as many will indulge in some sweet treats after their fasting.
Eid al-Fitr is a time when presents are given, new clothes are worn, and the graves of relatives are visited.
In addition, it’s normal for men to greet other men with a big hug, and women to do the same to other women in a bid to create goodwill between all.
Because one of the five pillars of Islam is giving to charity – Zakat – many will also celebrate by giving to charity and helping out others.
During Eid, there is a type of charitable giving called Zakat al-Fitr, which takes place at the end of Ramadan, or given out just before the end so that everyone can celebrate during Eid-al Fitr.
When is Eid-al Adha? As well as Eid al-Fitr, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha each year. Eid al-Adha 2021 starts on the evening of July 19 and ends on July 23. The festival revolves around the story of Allah appearing to Ibrahim in a dream and asking him to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, as a sign of his faith.
It has similarities to the Christian and Jewish tales where God asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac but spared him from doing so. During Eid-al Adha, some Muslims sacrifice animals and the meat is divided up among friends, family and donated to those in need.
Eid al-Fitr means ‘Feast of breaking of the fast’ whilst Eid al-Adha means ‘Feast of the Sacrifice’. Like many things in the Islam religion, Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha are determined by the Islamic lunar calendar.
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