Eid, or Eid-ul-Fitr, is a 3-day Muslim holiday that marks the end of Ramadan, the ninth Islamic holy month of fasting. In 2017, Eid begins on June 25. In most of the Muslim countries, the entire 3-day period is an official government and school holiday. Day of Eid starts with communal prayer (salat) in the morning, followed by visiting elders for their blessings. During the holiday, there are formal receptions and numerous visits to family and friends.
The end of Ramadan is marked by the sighting of the new moon, which is followed by a day of celebration known as Eid-ul-Fitr (or Eid al-Fitr). Eid celebration is an expression of the communal aspects of fasting, which expresses many of the basic values of the Muslim community including empathy for the poor, charity, worship, patience, steadfastness, understanding, mutual understanding and acceptance.
Families wake up early in the morning to get ready for the Eid congregational prayers and sermon. They dress in their best attire, often showcasing traditional clothes from their respective regions. They thank The Almighty, The Merciful God for having given them the opportunity to experience the blessed month of Ramadan. Communal prayers are followed by social gatherings, festive meals and parties. Happy Eid greetings are exchanged. Charity giving and gift giving is also an integral part of Eid celebrations; charity is one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Before the festivities begin, every adult contributes toward Zakat-ul-Fitr, a charity that gives to the poor, which ensures that the needy and the hungry are not excluded from this happy occasion.
The Eid celebration is not merely about feasting and socializing; it has a deeper significance for those who observed the month of Ramadan by abstaining from worldly pleasures such as food. They spend the entire month in introspection and self-evaluation to become better human beings and earn the pleasure of God. For the observant, the Merciful ALLAH (God) has granted Eid as a day for forgiveness of sins. Individuals are left feeling joy and a renewed energy to face the rest of the year with faith and determination. Islam teaches the objective of life is to earn the pleasure of God. The spiritual closeness that can be achieved during the month of Ramadan serves this purpose for those who truly work hard to benefit from it.