Art & Culture
Eid al-Fitr and Ramadan
By Charis Hackman
Volume 1 Issue 8
June 8, 2021
Image provided by Creative World UK
The Culture Society talked about Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr, two special holidays for those who follow the religion of Islam. These Holidays are observed through prayer and fasting.
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic Lunar calendar, a lunar calendar consisting of 12 lunar months in a year of 354 or 355 days. The holiday is a commemoration of Muhammad's first revelation. Ramadan is also regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam and lasts twenty-nine to thirty days.
One of the main traditions during Ramadan is fasting or not eating, called swam in Arabic; basically Muslims are forbidden to eat, drink, or smoke during the day and can eat when it is dark out. But Muslims who are or seriously ill, elderly, breastfeeding, diabetic, or menstruating don’t have to fast. The main point behind fasting is that Muslims practice discipline and self-control and is good practice for showing restraint for the rest of the year.
On a usual day during Ramadan, families have to get up very early, before the sun comes up, and have a predawn meal called Sahūr. When the sun comes up, they do their morning prayers and the fast begins. Once the sun sets, family and friends gather for a meal called iftar, they then break their fast with water, milk and three dates, a type of sweet fruit and then eat dinner together.
Charity or Zakāt in Arabic, is also an important tradition, while people are fasting, they are encouraged to give as much as they can and a percentage of their income to the poor and do as many good deeds as possible.
Eid al-Fitr also called the "Festival of Breaking the Fast", or simply Eid, is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan. Since, Islam is one of the largest religions in the world, each region has different ways to celebrate Eid.
Eid al-Fitr lasts 3 days where people dress up, preform special prayers, greet each other with “Eid Mubarak,” meaning “Blessed Eid” and with formal embraces, visit family, friends, and family graves, and exchange gifts, like sweet foods, eidia offerings in money bags, and games for children. Muslim families give donations to the poor, known as Zakat al-Fitr, or charity of fast-breaking in Arabic, normally with food like barley, rice, dates were given, instead of money.
In countries where Muslims make up most of the population, the three-day Eid celebration is an official government and school holiday. “Some families even decorate their houses with lights, candles, and colored banners”. Muslims families also hold celebration with friends and family preparing and eating dinner with special dishes, desserts, and other foods together.