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There are two official holidays in Islam: Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated at the end of Ramadan (a month of fasting during daylight hours), and Muslims usually give zakat (charity) on the occasion. Eid Al-Adha is celebrated on the tenth day of Dhu al-Hijjah and lasts for three days, during which Muslims usually sacrifice a sheep and distribute its meat in 3 parts: among family, friends, and the poor.
Both of the holidays occur on dates in the Islamic (Hijri) calendar, which is lunar, and thus their dates in the Gregorian calendar, which is solar, change each year. The Gregorian calendar is based on the orbital period of the Earth's revolution around the Sun, approximately 365 1⁄4 days, while the Islamic calendar is based on the synodic period of the Moon's revolution around the Earth, approximately 29 1⁄2 days. The Islamic calendar alternates months of 29 and 30 days (which begin with the new moon). Twelve of these months constitute an Islamic year, which is 11 days shorter than the Gregorian year.
Ramadan is the holy month in which Muslims must fast from dawn to sunset primarily as a devotion to the commandment of Allah ( this includes flattery-free fasting, prayer and charity as well), but also to harvest the healthy benefits of fasting ( Self-Enlightenment, Immune System Boost, brain function and Insulin Sensitivity Improvement). Although the idea is that fasting is done so people feel what the poor and the hungry go through, the needy must also fast for Ramadan. Muslims fast by denying themselves food, water and all related sexual activity with their spouses, but also many things religiously forbidden but socially forgotten can void the person's fast, such as Ghibah (backbiting others) and deceiving others. However, people with chronic diseases or unhealthy conditions such as diabetes for example, and those who haven't reached the age of puberty are exempt from fasting. Travelers, and women who are menstruating or nursing a baby, are exempt from fasting as well during their special situation but are required to fast later.
Dates of holidays and other days of note
|Hijri date||1437 AH||1438 AH||1439 AH||1440 AH||1441 AH|
|Islamic New Year||1 Muḥarram||14 Oct. 2015||2 Oct. 2016||21 Sep. 2017||11 Sep. 2018||31 Aug. 2019|
|Ashura||10 Muḥarram||23 Oct. 2015||11 Oct. 2016||30 Sep. 2017||20 Sep. 2018||9 Sep. 2019|
|Arba'een[a]||20 or 21 Ṣafar[b]||2 Dec. 2015||20 Nov. 2016||9 Nov. 2017||30 Oct. 2018||19 Oct. 2019|
|Mawlid an-Nabī[c]||12 Rabī‘ al-Awwal (Sunnis)||23 Dec. 2015||11 Dec. 2016||30 Nov. 2017||20 Nov. 2018||9 Nov. 2019|
|17 Rabī‘ al-Awwal (Shias)||28 Dec. 2015||16 Dec. 2016||5 Dec. 2017||25 Nov. 2018||14 Nov. 2019|
|Birthday of ‘Alī ibn Abī Ṭālib[a]||13 Rajab||20 Apr. 2016||10 Apr. 2017||30 Mar. 2018||20 Mar. 2019||8 Mar. 2020|
|Laylat al-Mi'raj||27 Rajab[d]||4 May 2016||24 Apr. 2017||13 Apr. 2018||3 Apr. 2019||22 Mar. 2020|
|Laylat al-Bara'at||15 Sha‘bān||22 May 2016||11 May 2017||1 May 2018||20 Apr. 2019||8 Apr. 2020|
|Birthday of Muhammad al-Mahdī[e]||15 Sha‘bān||22 May 2016||11 May 2017||1 May 2018||20 Apr. 2019||8 Apr. 2020|
|First day of Ramaḍān||1 Ramaḍān||6 June 2016||27 May 2017||16 May 2018||6 May 2019||24 Apr. 2020|
|Laylat al-Qadr||19, 21, 23, 25, 27, or 29 Ramaḍān[f]||between
24 June & 4 July 2016
14 & 24 June 2017
3 & 13 June 2018
24 May & 3 June 2019
12 & 22 May 2020
|Chaand Raat[g]||29 or 30 Ramaḍān[h]||5 July 2016||24 June 2017||14 June 2018||3 June 2019||23 May 2020|
|Eid al-Fitr||1 Shawwāl||6 July 2016||25 June 2017||15 June 2018||4 June 2019||24 May 2020|
|Hajj||8–13 Dhū al-Ḥijja||9–14 Sep. 2016||30 Aug. – 4 Sep. 2017||19–24 Aug. 2018||9–14 Aug. 2019||29 July – 3 Aug. 2020|
|Day of Arafah||9 Dhū al-Ḥijja||10 Sep. 2016||31 Aug. 2017||20 Aug. 2018||10 Aug. 2019||30 July 2020|
|Eid al-Adha||10 Dhū al-Ḥijja||11 Sep. 2016||1 Sep. 2017||21 Aug. 2018||11 Aug. 2019||31 July 2020|
|Eid al-Ghadeer[a]||18 Dhū al-Ḥijja||19 Sep. 2016||9 Sep. 2017||29 Aug. 2018||19 Aug. 2019||8 Aug. 2020|
- Primarily observed by Shias.
- Observed 40 days after the Day of Ashura.
- Not observed by some Sunnis.
- There is some disagreement about this date; see Isra and Mi'raj.
- Primarily observed by Twelver Shias.
- Most often observed on 27 Ramaḍān; see Laylat al-Qadr.
- Primarily observed in South Asia.
- Observed on the last evening of Ramaḍān; see Chaand Raat.
Some Gregorian dates may vary slightly from those given, and may also vary by country. See Islamic calendar.
- "Special Islamic Days". IslamicFinder. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
- "Islamic Calendar". IslamicFinder. Retrieved 1 October 2016.
- Leaman, Oliver, "Festivals of Love", in Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God (2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO, 2014, Vol I, pp. 197–199.