Eid-Ul-Fitr Around The World
Eid-ul-Fitr is the first day of the Islamic month of Shawwal. It marks the end of Ramadan, which is a month of fasting and prayer. Many Muslims attend communal prayers, listen to a khutba (sermon) and give zakat al-fitr (charity in the form of food) during Eid ul-Fitr. When the new moon is seen after month of Ramadan, the next day is Eid ul-Fitr. After the Eid Prayer, the Muslim greets each other by saying “Eid Mubarak”. It is a festival of love and goodwill and gives us a message to love all and hate none. It exhorts us to bid goodbye to hatred, jealousy and enmity and bring in an era of love, sympathy and brotherhood.
Middle EastSaudi Arabia And Iran
Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated with great pomp in Saudi Arabia and Iran. Saudis and Iranians decorate their homes and prepare sumptuous meals for family and friends. In the spirit of Eid, many Saudis go out of their way to show their kindness and generosity. It is common for even complete strangers to greet one another at random. It is traditional for Saudi men to go and buy large quantities of rice and other staples, and then leave them anonymously at the doors of those who are less fortunate. In the major cities of Saudi Arabia, every night there are huge fireworks shows. Iranian Muslims take part in the Eid ul-Fitr special prayer that generally takes place in an open field or a large hall with a congregation in attendance, and pay the Zakat al-Fitr.
Eid ul-Fitr is a three-day feast in Africa. Egyptians like to celebrate with others, so the streets are always crowded during the days and nights of Eid. The Eid day starts with a small snack followed by Eid prayers in congregation attended by men, women, and children in which the sermon reminds Egyptians of the virtues and good deeds they should do for others, during Eid and throughout the year. Afterwards, neighbours, friends, and relatives start greeting one another. The most common greeting is “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Eid).
In Cape Town, hundreds of Muslims will gather at Green Point in the evening of the last day of Ramadan each year for the sighting of the moon. The gathering brings together people from all walks of life, and everyone comes with something to share with others at the time of breaking the fast. The sunset prayer is then performed in congregation and the formal moon-sighting results are announced thereafter. The festival of Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated by first attending the mosque in the morning for Eid prayer and then they exchange gifts.
Eid ul-Fitr holds significant importance and is celebrated widely for three days. This Eid among the Pashto-speaking community is called Kochnai Akhtar. Afghans start preparing for the Eid ul-Fitr festival up to ten days prior by cleaning up their homes. On the day of Eid ul-Fitr, Afghans will first offer their Eid prayers and then gather in their homes with their families, greeting one another by saying “Eid Mubarak” and usually adding “Eidet Mobarak Roza wa Namazet Qabool Dakhel Hajiha wa Ghaziha,” which means “Happy Eid to you; may your fasting and prayers be accepted by Allah, and may you be counted among those who will go to the Hajj-pilgrimage.”
On the day of Eid ul-Fitr, people wear new clothes to get ready for Eid prayer. People are supposed to give obligatory charity on behalf of each of their family member to the needy or poor before Eid day or at least before Eid prayer. This will allow everybody to share the joy of Eid and not feel depressed. For Eid prayer, people gather at large open areas and After Eid Salat people meet and greet each other with traditional hug of friendship and the greeting “Eid Mubarak”. Before going home people give charity to needy and the poor, to further make it possible to have everybody be able to enjoy the day.
Celebrations in India and the rest of the Indian subcontinent share many similarities with regional variations, because a large part of the Indian subcontinent was ruled as one nation during the days of the Mughal Empire and British. The night before Eid is called Chaand Raat, which means, “Night of the Moon”. On Eid day before prayers, people distribute a charity locally known as fitrana. Many people also avail themselves of this opportunity to distribute zakat, an Islamic obligatory alms tax of 2.5% of one’s annual savings, to the needy. Zakat is often distributed in the form of food and new clothes. Muslims turn out in the thousands, as there is a lot of excitement surrounding the celebration of this festival. It is common for some Hindus to visit their Muslim friends and neighbours on Eid to convey their greetings.
The morning of Eid begins with men and woman taking a bath, wear the newest clothes and head for Eid Prayer. Then people exchange hugs and head home where a large banquet of food would be prepared. In Bangladesh family and friends visit each other’s houses over the course of the 3 days and 3 or 4 houses are visited a day. During the days of Eid, children receive lots of money by relatives and family friends. For Bangladeshis Eid ul-Fitr is the most awaited holiday.
Southeast AsiaSingapore, Malaysia, Indonesia.
In countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Brunei the Eid is known as Hari Raya Aidilfitri, Hari raya Pusa. The word means the day of celebration. The festival of Eid is the biggest festival of Indonesia and one of the major festivals of the countries like Singapore and Malaysia. The night just before the festival is filled with recitation of the holy scriptures in a musical note from the mosques. The people of Indonesia greet each other with Salemat Idul Fitri and the people of Malaysia greets each other on the festive occasion with the greeting Salemat Hari Raya which means Happy Eid. The non Muslims living in Malaysia prefer to dress themselves in the traditional Muslim out fit to show their respect to their Muslim colleagues, friends and relatives. This practice is very common in Indonesia where the family may have people belonging to different faiths and beliefs. An Indonesian family may have believers of Christian religion, Hindu religion, Buddhist and Muslims believers. It may have the different sects of Christianity in the same family. The practice of open house is more common in the big cities of Indonesia.