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Eid al-Fitr

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Eid al-Fitr
Eid prayers at the Badshahi Mosque.JPG
Eid prayers at Badshahi Mosque, in Lahore, Pakistan
Official nameArabic: عيد الفطر‎, romanized‘Īd al-Fiṭr
Observed byMuslims
SignificanceMarks the end of fasting in Ramadan
CelebrationsEid prayers, charity, social gatherings, festive meals, gift-giving
Date1 Shawwal[1]
2019 date4 June[1] (Saudi Arabia and some other countries)[2] 5 June (Pakistan and some other countries)
2020 date24 May (expected[1][3] – may differ 1 day dependent on sighting of lunar crescent)
Related toRamadan, Eid al-Adha

Eid al-Fitr (/d əl ˈfɪtər/ eed əl FIT-ər; Arabic: عيد الفطرʻĪd al-Fiṭr, IPA: [ʕiːd al fitˤr]),[4] (sometimes known as Eid ul-Fitr), also called the "Festival of Breaking the Fast", is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims worldwide that marks the end of the month-long dawn-to-sunset fasting of Ramadan.[5] This religious Eid is the only day in the month of Shawwal during which Muslims are not permitted to fast. The date for the start of any lunar Hijri month varies based on when the new moon is sighted by local religious authorities, so the day of celebration varies by locality.

Eid al-Fitr has a particular salat (Islamic prayer) that consists of two rakats (units) generally performed in an open field or large hall. It may only be performed in congregation (jamāʿat) and features six additional Takbirs (raising of the hands to the ears while saying "Allāhu ʾAkbar", meaning "God is the greatest") in the Hanafi school of Sunni Islam: three at the start of the first rakat and three just before rukūʿ in the second rakat.[6] Other Sunni schools usually have twelve Takbirs, similarly split in groups of seven and five. In Shia Islam, the salat has six Takbirs in the first rakat at the end of qira'a, before rukūʿ, and five in the second.[7] Depending on the juristic opinion of the locality, this salat is either farḍ فرض (obligatory), mustaḥabb مستحب (strongly recommended) or mandūb مندوب (preferable).


Eid al-Fitr was originated by the Islamic prophet Muhammad. According to certain traditions, these festivals were initiated in Medina after the migration of Muhammad from Mecca. Anas, a well-known companion of the Prophet, narrated that, when the Prophet arrived in Medina, he found people celebrating two specific days in which they entertained themselves with recreation and merriment. At this, the Prophet remarked that Almighty has fixed two days of festivity instead of these for you which are better than these: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha.[8]

General rituals

Traditionally, Eid al-Fitr begins at sunset on the night of the first sighting of the crescent moon. If the moon is not observed immediately after the 29th day of the previous lunar month (either because clouds block its view or because the western sky is still too bright when the moon sets), then the holiday is celebrated the following day.[9] Eid al-Fitr is celebrated for one to three days, depending on the country.[10] It is forbidden to fast on the Day of Eid, and a specific prayer is nominated for this day.[11] As an obligatory act of charity, money is paid to the poor and the needy (Arabic: Zakat-ul-fitr) before performing the ‘Eid prayer.[12][better source needed]

Eid al-Fitr mass prayer in Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta, Indonesia

Eid prayer and eidgah

The Eid prayer is performed in congregation in open areas like fields, community centers, or mosques.[10] No call to prayer is given for this Eid prayer, and it consists of only two units of prayer with a variable amount of Takbirs and other prayer elements depending on the branch of Islam observed.The Eid prayer is followed by the sermon and then a supplication asking for Allah's forgiveness, mercy, peace and blessings for all living beings across the world. The sermon also instructs Muslims as to the performance of rituals of Eid, such as the zakat.[13] The sermon of Eid takes place after the Eid prayer, unlike Friday prayer which comes first before prayer. Some imams believe that listening to the sermon at Eid is optional.[14] After the prayers, Muslims visit their relatives, friends, and acquaintances or hold large communal celebrations in homes, community centers, or rented halls.[10]

Many Muslims often bring prayer rugs to the Mosque on Eid al-Fitr.

Sunni procedure

As ritual dictates, Sunnis praise Allah in a loud voice while going to the Eid prayer: Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar, Allāhu Akbar. Lā ilāha illà l-Lāh wal-Lāhu akbar, Allahu akbar walil-Lāhi l-ḥamd. Recitation ceases when they get to the place of Eid or once the Imam commences activities.[15]

The prayer starts by doing "Niyyat" for the prayer and then Takbir is said by the Imam and his followers. Next, "Takbeer-e-Tehreema" is recited, followed by Allahu Akbar three times, raising hands to the ears and dropping them each time, except for the last when the hands are folded. Then the Imam reads the Surah-e-Fatiha and other Surah. Then the congregation performs Ruku and Sujud as in other prayers. This completes the first rakat. The congregation rises up and folds their hands for the second rakat., during which the Imam recites Surah Fatiha and another Surah. After this, three Takbirs are called out just before the Ruku, each time raising hands to the ears and dropping them. For the fourth time, the congregation says Allah o Akbar and subsequently goes into the Ruku. The rest of the prayer is completed in the regular manner. This completes the Eid prayer. After the prayer there is a khutbah.[16]

Eid al-Fitr, in Iran (1984)

Shia procedure

Prayer starts with the Niyyat followed by five Takbirs. During every Takbir of the first rakat, a special Dua is recited. Then, the Imam recites Sūrat al-Fātiḥah and Surat Al-'A`lá and the congregation performs Ruku and Sujud as in other prayers. In the second Rakat, the same above steps (five Takbeers, Sūrat al-Fātiḥah and Surat Al-'A`lá, Ruku and Sujud) are repeated. After the prayer, Khutbah starts.[17]

Practices by country

Middle East


Jordanians decorate their homes and prepare sumptuous meals for family and friends. They prepare new clothes and shoes for the festival. Eid festivities in Jordan may vary culturally depending on the region, but one common thread in all celebrations is generosity and hospitality. It is a common Jordanian tradition for families to gather at the patriarchal home after the Eid prayers. Before the special Eid meal is served, young children will line up in front of each adult family member, who dispense money as gifts to the children.

Saudi Arabia

Saudis decorate their homes and prepare sumptuous meals for family and friends. They prepare new clothes and shoes for the festival. Eid festivities in Saudi Arabia may vary culturally depending on the region, but one common thread in all celebrations is generosity and hospitality. It is a common Saudi tradition for families to gather at the patriarchal home after the Eid prayers. Before the special Eid meal is served, young children will line up in front of each adult family member, who dispense money as gifts to the children.[18]


Aerial view from wherever Eid al-Fitr prayer held outside the Iranian city of Bandar Torkaman on 26 June 2017.

In Iran, at the last days of the month of Ramadan, several groups of experts representing the office of Ayatollah Khamenei go to the different zones of the country to determine the date of Eid al-Fitr.[19] Iranian Muslims take part in the Eid al-Fitr prayer and pay the Zakat al-Fitr.[20] The Eid al-Fitr prayer, and the following sermon, has been led by Ayatollah Seyyed Ali Khamenei, Supreme Leader of Iran, at Tehran's Imam Khomeini Grand Prayer Grounds (Mossalla).[21][22] The celebration is typically marked by a one- or two-day national holiday.[23]


Traditional Bayram wishes from the Istanbul Metropolitan Municipality, stating "Let us love, Let us be loved", in the form of mahya lights stretched across the minarets of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

In Turkey, nationwide celebrated holidays are referred to as bayram, and Eid al-Fitr is referred to as both Şeker Bayramı ("Bayram of Sweets") and Ramazan Bayramı ("Ramadan Bayram"). It is a time for people to attend prayer services, put on their best clothes (referred to as bayramlık, often purchased just for the occasion), visit all their loved ones (such as relatives, neighbors, and friends), and pay their respects to the deceased with organised visits to cemeteries. It is also customary for young children to go around their neighborhood, door to door, and wish everyone a "Happy Bayram", for which they are awarded candy, chocolates, traditional sweets such as baklava and Turkish Delight, or a small amount of money at every door.[24]


In the predominantly Sunni Muslim culture of Afghanistan, Eid al-Fitr holds significant importance and is celebrated widely for three days. The most common greeting is Kochnai Akhtar (Blessed Eid) in the Pashto-speaking community. Afghans start preparing for the Eid al-Fitr festival up to ten days prior by cleaning their homes (called Khana Takani in Dari). Afghans visit their local bazaars to buy new clothes, sweets, and snacks including Jelabi (Jalebi), Shor-Nakhod (made with chickpeas), and Cake wa Kolcha (a simple cake, similar to pound cake). On the day of Eid al-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." Family elders will give money and gifts to children. It is also common practice to visit families and friends, which may be difficult to do at other times of the year. Children walk from home to home saying "Khala Eidet Mubarak" ("aunt happy Eid"), and they receive cookies or Pala. At night, multiple campfires are set around houses, sometimes to the point that entire valleys may initially appear to be engulfed in flame. Celebratory fire with automatic rifles, particularly tracer rounds, can also be expected in high density.[25]



Egyptians spend the first day of Eid al-Fitr to gather all family members and celebrate the Eid at public gardens. It is customary for children to also receive an Eidi, a small sum of money to be spent on activities throughout the Eid.[26] Egyptians like to celebrate with others, so the streets are always crowded during the days and nights of Eid.[27]

Heightened incidence of sexual assault during Eid al-Fitr

There were several accounts of a heightened number of sexual assaults and rapes during the 2006 Egyptian Eid.[28][29][30][31] Subsequent reports indicated that the phenomenon continued to grow in following years.[32][33][34][35] One Egyptian journalist wrote "The Eid al-Fitr holiday following this year's Ramadan brought its usual share of sexual harassment".[36] Operation Anti Sexual Harassment, an Egyptian organisation founded to protect against sexual assaults, described Eid al-Fitr as a "season for harassment",[37] and the prevalence of such attacks "a trend that has become associated with Eid al-Fitr celebrations in recent years".[34] Despite this rise, sexual assault and "intrigue" with women during Eid al-Fitr dates back to the early 19th century, as Edward Lane alludes to.[38] In 2013, allegations, the discussion of which was considered taboo,[39] surfaced in Cairo and Tanta.[40][41][42] 2014 saw lower rates of attempted harassment, and activists reported more confidence since the amendment of the penal code.[43] 141 police reports for harassment were filed in Cairo in 2015, though this number may underestimate the issue as many reports were reportedly withdrawn.[44] Despite a reduction to 120 complaints and 35 arrests for harassment in 2016,[45] many women still find it necessary to take significant precautions during Eid.[46] 2018 showed continued evidence of reduction.[47]

Eid al-Fitr mass prayer in Morocco


Since 2012, Tunisia celebrates Eid for three days (with preparations starting several days earlier), two of which are national holidays. Special biscuits, including Baklawa and several kinds of "ka'ak", are made to give to friends and relatives on the day.[48]


Eid al-Fitr prayers in Somalia

In Somalia and other Islamic parts of the Horn region, Eid al-Fitr is observed by the Muslim communities. Celebrations marking the event are typically accompanied by elaborate banquets, where special dishes such as xalwo (halwo) and buskut (buskuit) are served.[49]

South Africa

Muslims in Durban celebrating Eid al-Fitr

In Cape Town, hundreds of Muslims—each with something to share with others at the time of the breaking of the fast—gather at Green Point in the evening of the last day of Ramadan for the sighting of the moon. The Maghrib (sunset) prayer is then performed in congregation and the formal moon-sighting results are announced thereafter.[50]


In Sudan, where 97% of the population is Muslim,[51] preparations for Eid begin the last few days of Ramadan. For days, ka'ak (sugar powdered cookies), bettifour (dry baked goods including dainty biscuits, baked meringues and macaroons—whose name are derived from the French petit four), and popcorn are baked in large batches to serve to guests and to give to family and friends; dressy Eid clothes are either shopped for or sewn; girls and women decorate their hands and feet with henna; and parts of the house may even be painted. The night before Eid, the whole household partakes in cleaning the house and yard and setting out the finest bedsheets, table cloths, and decorations. On the day of Eid, men and boys (and occasionally women and girls) will attend the Eid prayer. For the next 3 days, families will then visit each other, extended family, neighbors, and close friends. In these short visits, the baked goods, chocolates, and sweets are served, and often large lunches are prepared for the visiting well-wishers. Children are given gifts, either in the form of toys or money.[52]

South Asia


Mehndi is the application of henna as a temporary form of skin decoration, commonly applied during Eid al-Fitr.
A panorama in 12 folds showing an imperial Eid al-Fitr procession by Bahadur Shah II

Special celebratory dishes in India include Lachcha or sivayyan, a dish of fine, toasted sweet vermicelli noodles with milk and dried fruit (see Sheer khurma).[53]


In Pakistan, Eid al-Fitr is also referred to as چھوٹی عید‎, chhotī īd, 'the Lesser Eid' or میٹھی عید‎, mīṭhī īd, 'Sweet Eid'.[54] People are supposed to give obligatory charity on behalf of each of their family members to the needy or poor before Eid day or, at most, before the Eid prayer, allowing for all to share in the joy of Eid. At home, family members enjoy special Eid breakfast with various types of sweets and desserts, including Kheer and the traditional dessert Sheer Khurma, which is made of vermicelli, milk, butter, dry fruits, and dates. Eid is mainly enjoyed by the kids, as they mostly receive money in cash called "Eidi" as gift from their relatives and elders.[55] People tend to get fresh and crisp banknotes to gift children with. State Bank of Pakistan issues fresh currency notes every year for this purpose.[56]


The preparation for Eid in Bangladesh starts from the last quarter of the holy month of Ramadan. The markets and shopping malls become overwhelmed with people. Those who live away from their families for their job or livelihood, they return to their home towns and villages to celebrate the festival with family members and relatives. In the Chaand Raat children gather at the open field to see the Hilal (crescent moon) of the month of Shawwal. Girls decorate their hands with Mehndi. Like other South Asian countries, Lachcha (Vermicelli) are served with Roti as breakfast in Bangladesh. Then people attend the Eid prayer in Eidgah. Children do salam by touching the legs of the elderly members of the family. And elders give them a small amount of money which is known as "Salami" or "Eidi (gift)", which is a major part of Eid happiness for children. Delicious dishes like Biryani, Polao, Korma etc are served in the dining table. Wealthy Muslims in Bangladesh also distribute Zakat alms to the poor people. People visit the house of relatives and greet each other saying "Eid Mubarak" (Happy Eid).[57]

Eid prayer in Dhaka, Bangladesh

Southeast Asia


Eid is known in Indonesia as Hari Raya Idul Fitri, or more popularly as Lebaran, and is a national holiday.[58] People return to their home town or city (an exodus known as mudik) to celebrate with their families and to ask forgiveness from parents, in-laws, and other elders.[59] Festivities start the night before with chanting the Takbir and lighting lamps. On the day itself, after Eid prayer in the morning, zakat alms for the poor are distributed in the mosques. People gather with family and neighbors in traditional clothing and have a special Lebaran meal. Children are given money in colourful envelopes.[60] Later, it is common for Muslims in Indonesia to visit the graves of relatives to ritually clean the grave. Muslims also visit the living in a special ritual called Halal bi-Halal sometime during or several days after Idul Fitri.[61]

Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand

Rows of Pelita (oil lamps) which is used to illuminate homes and the streets during the season. Seen here in Muar, Johor, Malaysia

In Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei and Thailand, children are given token sums of money, known as "duit raya" also known as green envelope, from their parents or elders.[62][63]


During Ramadan, in small towns and big villages with significant Muslim populations, Burmese Muslim youth organize singing teams called Jago (meaning "wake up). Jago teams usually do not use musical instruments apart from the occasional use of harmonica mouth organs.[64] The roving groups of singers will take the tunes of popular Hindi movie songs, replaced with Burmese lyrics and invocations about fasting, the principles of Islam, and the benefits of Salat.[65]


Among Muslim Filipinos in the Philippines, Eid al-Fitr is commonly known as Hariraya, Buka, Hariraya Buka, or Hariraya Buka Puasa.[66][67][68] It is also known as Wakas ng Ramadan (literally "End of Ramadan"), Araw ng Raya ("Feast Day"), or Pagtatapos ng Pag-aayuno ("End of the Fast") in Filipino. It was proclaimed a legal holiday for Muslim Filipinos in 1977 by Presidential Decree 1083. In 2002, this was upgraded to a public national holiday by Republic Act 9177. It is also sometimes known by its Malay name "Hari Raya Puasa"; and by its Indonesian name "Lebaran".[69][70][71]

President Rodrigo Duterte interacts with participants of the 2016 Eid al-Fitr celebrations in Davao City, Philippines

Its beginning is decided by the sighting of the crescent moon (hilal), followed by morning prayers in mosques or public plazas.[72] When this occurs can sometimes differ depending on the regional government. In some places it is based on the physical sighting of the hilal; while in others it is determined by the Regional Darul Ifta’ of Bangsamoro (RDI-BARMM) or the National Commission on Muslim Filipinos (NCMF), especially during cloudy days.[66][73][74]

The sighting of the hilal is traditionally marked by the beating of drums in some regions. In modern times, this has evolved into a noise barrage known as "Mobile Takbir", where celebrants, especially youths, rev their motorcycles or honk their horns while driving through the streets. Guns are also sometimes fired. These practices have been discouraged by the Grand Mufti of Bangsamoro and local government officials as not being in accordance with Islamic teachings as well as being dangerous and causing accidents in the past.[74][75][76]

Hariraya is characterized by the giving of gifts (known as Eidi), food sharing (salu-salo), and visiting the elderly and the sick.[76][77] Food, alms, and basic necessities are also donated to the poor, a practice known as Fitrana or Zakat al-Fitr. This is usually done a day before Eid al-Fitr.[69][78] Various traditional sweet delicacies of the different Muslim Filipino ethnic groups are served for breakfast, including daral, dodol, browas, tinagtag, panyalam, jampok, and so on.[79] Various activities also mark the celebrations, including dancing, boat races, horse races, and carabao fighting in cities and towns with significant Muslim populations. In Metro Manila, the celebrations are usually held at the Manila Golden Mosque and the Quirino Grandstand.[72] The celebration lasts for three days.[73]

East Asia


In the People's Republic of China, out of 56 officially recognized ethnic groups, Eid al-Fitr is celebrated by at least 10 ethnic groups that are predominantly Muslim. These groups are said to total 18 million according to official statistics, but some observers say the actual number may be much higher. It is also a public holiday in China in certain regions, including two Province Prefecture Level regions, Ningxia and Xinjiang. All residents in these areas, regardless of religion, are entitled to either a one-day or three-day official holiday. Outside the Muslim-majority regions, only Muslims are entitled to a one-day holiday. In Xinjiang province, Eid al-Fitr is even celebrated by the Han Chinese population. During the holiday, supplies of mutton, lamb and beef are distributed to households as part of a welfare program funded by government agencies, public and private institutions, and businesses. In Yunnan, Muslim populations are spread throughout the region. On Eid al-Fitr, however, some devotees may travel to Sayyid 'Ajjal's grave after their communal prayers. There, they will conduct readings from the Quran and clean the tomb, reminiscent of the historic annual Chinese Qingming festival, in which people go to their ancestors' graves, sweep and clean the area, and make food offerings.[citation needed] Finally the accomplishments of the Sayyid 'Ajall will be related in story form, concluded by a special prayer service to honour the hundreds of thousands of Muslims killed during the Panthay Rebellion, and the hundreds killed during the Cultural Revolution.[80]



Eid al-Fitr (i.e. Seker Bayram, Sugar Feast) is celebrated in Greece mainly in the Western Thrace region from the local Muslim minority (Turks, Pomaks and Roma), along with the other two major celebrations, Kurban Bayram (Sacrifice Feast) and Hıdırellez. On the day of the Bayram, family gathers together, wear their best clothes, and celebrate with a common meal, after attending the morning prayer. The women prepare and offer sweets to family and visitors, while small children go around and pay their respects to the elderly by kissing their hands. The elder in turn reward them with candies, sweets, and small amounts of money.[81][82] Local Muslim shopkeepers close their shops this day, while Muslim minority schools have a 5-day holiday for the feast.[82] Some entertainment venues and clubs hold special events for the night of the Bayram.[83]

United Kingdom

Although Eid al-Fitr is not a recognized public holiday in the United Kingdom,[84] many schools, businesses, and organisations allow for at least a day's leave to be taken for religious celebrations.[85][86]

North America

United States

In New York City, alternate side parking (street cleaning) regulations are suspended on Eid. Beginning in 2016, New York City Public Schools also remain closed on Eid.[87] In Houston, Texas, the annual prayers are offered at the George R. Brown Convention Center in downtown Houston, organised by the Islamic Society of Greater Houston (ISGH). In other states, with smaller Muslim populations, it is common that schools will remain open on Eid al-Fitr.

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has issued several Eid postage stamps, across several years—starting in 2001—honoring "two of the most important festivals in the Islamic calendar: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha." Eid stamps were released in 2001 – 2002, 2006 – 2009, 2011.[88][89][90][91]

Muslims after Eid Prayer at Valley Stream Park, Long Island, New York, United States of America

In the Gregorian calendar

Although the date of Eid al-Fitr is always the same in the Islamic calendar, the date in the Gregorian calendar falls approximately 11 days earlier each successive year, since the Islamic calendar is lunar and the Gregorian calendar is solar. Hence if the Eid falls in the first ten days of a Gregorian calendar year, there will be a second Eid in the last ten days of the same Gregorian calendar year, as happened in 2000 CE. The Gregorian date may vary between countries depending on the local visibility of the new moon. Some expatriate Muslim communities follow the dates as determined for their home country, while others follow the local dates of their country of residence.

The following table shows predicted dates and announced dates based on new moon sightings for Saudi Arabia.[1][92]

Recent dates of Eid al-Fitr in Saudi Arabia
Islamic year Umm al-Qura predicted High Judiciary Council of
Saudi Arabia announced
1415 3 March 1995 3 March 1995
1416 20 February 1996 20 February 1996
1417 9 February 1997 9 February 1997
1418 30 January 1998 30 January 1998
1419 19 January 1999 19 January 1999
1420 8 January 2000 8 January 2000
1421 27 December 2000 27 December 2000
1422 16 December 2001 16 December 2001
1423 5 December 2002 5 December 2002
1424 25 November 2003 25 November 2003
1425 14 November 2004 13 November 2004
1426 3 November 2005 3 November 2005
1427 23 October 2006 23 October 2006
1428 13 October 2007 12 October 2007
1429 1 October 2008 30 September 2008
1430 20 September 2009 20 September 2009
1431 10 September 2010 10 September 2010
1432 30 August 2011 30 August 2011
1433 19 August 2012 19 August 2012
1434 8 August 2013 8 August 2013
1435 28 July 2014 28 July 2014
1436 17 July 2015 17 July 2015
1437 6 July 2016 6 July 2016
1438 25 June 2017 25 June 2017
1439 15 June 2018 15 June 2018[93]
1440 4 June 2019 4 June 2019[94]
1441 24 May 2020 24 May 2020 [95]
1442 13 May 2021
1443 2 May 2022
1444 21 April 2023
1445 10 April 2024
1446 30 March 2025
1447 20 March 2026
1448 9 March 2027
1449 26 February 2028
1450 14 February 2029


See also


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External links