Eid al-Fitr is a Muslim holiday, also known as Eid-ul-Fitr or just ''Eid'. Eid al-Fitr directly translates to 'Festival of Breaking the Fast'. It is the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal and marks the end of the Holy month of Ramadan - a month-long event where Muslims fast from dawn to sunset each day.
Because the Islamic calendar revolves around the moon, the date of Eid varies every year and even varies depending on locality as it involves local religious authorities on sighting the moon.
Traditionally, Eid al-Fitr begins at sunset on the night of the first sighting of the crescent moon. If it's not observed immediately because clouds either block its view or the sky is too bright, then the holiday is celebrated the day following the 29th day of the previous lunar month.
When did Eid al-Fitr begin?
The first Eid was celebrated in 624 CE.
Depending on the country, Eid is celebrated for around one to three days. It is forbidden to fast on the Day of Eid, so Muslim families around the world celebrate with lavish meals, friends exchange gifts and people donate to charity. It's a time for forgiveness, and people wear their best clothes and decorate their homes too. Muslims celebrate the end of the fast, but also to thank Allah for guiding them through the previous month and helping them practise self-control. The 'Eid prayer' is also performed at special services at Mosques.
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