Over one billion Muslims around the world will celebrate in a few days. Here are five facts you might not know about Eid al-Fitr:

Eid al Fitr

1. The celebration marks the end of fasting

During the month of Ramadan, Muslims fast from sun up to sundown to honour the month that the Quran was revealed to the Prophet Mohammed. The prolonged fasting isn't just about food, it also includes abstaining from drinking any liquids (including water), taking medications, smoking and having sex.

Eid al-Fitr celebrates the end of the month and consequently the end of the fasting. In fact, "Eid al-Fitr" is a pretty literal translation of the event that's being celebrated: "The Feast of Fast-Breaking".

 

2. It starts at different times across the world

Eid al-Fitr doesn't begin until the new moon appears in the sky - although traditionally, and still today for many Muslims, it doesn't begin until the barest sliver of a waxing crescent moon is seen. Technically, that means that across the world, Eid al-Fitr starts at different times and even different days, depending on location. To make it more uniform, some Muslims celebrate Eid when the new moon appears over Mecca instead of their own locations.

 

3. It’s held on different dates every year

The Islamic calendar is based on lunar cycles, as opposed to the Gregorian calendar, which is based on the solar cycle. New months start and end with each new moon. The average new moon appears every 29.53 days, so the lunar months are a bit shorter compared to the Gregorian months, which usually last 30 or 31 days. Thus, every year, Ramadan is held about 10 days earlier than it was the previous year in the Gregorian calendar.

The festival traditionally lasts for three days, but depending on how it falls on the calendar, the parties and festivities could last much longer. For example, if the three days fall mid-week, Muslims will likely still be celebrating over the weekend.

This year, celebrations start on Tuesday 4th June.

 

4. What do Muslims do on Eid al-Fitr?

Before leaving to perform morning prayers, Muslims wake up to cleanse their bodies in a ritual called "ghusl." Then, they often put on something new or grab their finest threads and decorate their hands with elaborate henna patterns. Some people wear traditional dress, while others opt for contemporary clothing.

After getting dressed and ready for the day, Muslims gather for prayers in mosques or outdoor locations. Afterwards, they may visit the graves of loved ones to pray and clean the gravesites.

 

5. Greetings and gifts involved

"Eid Mubarak," which means "Have a blessed Eid!" is the most common greeting on this occasion.

After a month of sacrifice, Eid al-Fitr is a time of abundance —and not just abundant food. So gifts are often given, especially to children. These gifts of food, money, accessories, home goods or flowers are called "Eidi".

We at Hay Hampers have worked hard to ensure that everyone can share the joy of receiving a Hay Hampers’ present. So we have created a range of fine food gifts respectful of all religious believes. Particularly, our selection of halal hampers are ideal to mark the end of Ramadan.

Tahaabu, tahaadu’ (give gifts to spread love to one another).

 

Eid Mubarak!