Eid al Fitr – 12 Important Things To Know About It

Categories Bushra's LifeStyle, Gift Guide, HolidayPosted on

Hey, beautiful fellows out there! How are you guys doing? Today’s post is a bit special for two reasons as it’s all about Eid al Fitr.

A- Eid al Fitr is a big Muslim holiday.

B- I am excited to share this with my new Muslim and non Muslim friends.

A lot of my friends already know about Eid al Fitr. However, if you don’t know what is it and why we celebrate it, this article will give you a clear idea.

I always like to learn about my Christian, Hindu, or other religious friends so I can know more about them. It just makes life easy between friends.

1- What Does Eid Al Fitr Literally Mean?

The meaning of Eid al Fitr is very simple. It means, in Arabic, “The feast of the breaking of the fast”. That is the literal meaning, but there is a lot more to it, which you are going to find out. Today is the 19th day of Ramadan, and since we in Islam follows the lunar calendar, it means there are either 10 or 11 more days to go until the month of Ramadan ends, and we celebrate Eid Al Fitr. Why 10 or 11? I’ll explain this later in the post.

2- Eid Al Fitr Pronunciation

Here is the pronunciation for you: Eid al-Fitr (eed al fiter) not hard at all, right? Well, there you have it.

3- Why Is Eid Al Fitr Celebrated?

Well, God is gracious. If He tests us with something He always rewards us as well. Eid al Fitr is one of the best rewards after the conclusion of the 29 or 30 days of dawn to sunset fasting during the entire month of Ramadan.

what is eid al fitr

What is Ramadan?

Ramadan is a month of fasting for us Muslims where we abstain ourselves from food, water, and other earthly desires from dawn to sundown for 29 or 30 days. It’s an honorable month for us, as the Quran (Muslim holy book) was revealed to the Prophet Mohammad (SAW) in this month.

Fasting is not about only refraining from food and drink though, it’s also about abstaining yourself from all of the other things such as evil thoughts, words, and actions. It’s all about cleansing your soul and learning about the world’s hunger and humanity more in-depth. You fast with your entire body.

After the Ramadan, the next month is Shawal and the first day of Shawal. When the new moon is first sighted, Shawal begins, and we celebrate Eid al Fitr. In 2019, it’s going to be either on June 4 or June 5 and Eid will last 3 days. Here in the USA, we take off three days if possible, but in Pakistan and other Muslim countries, you get 3 official days off.

Last year (2018) in New York City, for the first time in the history they approved Eid al Fitr as an official holiday. The schools are closed, and that is awesome! Here is the link to The New York Times writing about it. I know my New York Muslim friends are over the moon and super excited. You know, sometimes it gets hard to request for a day off, especially if the kids have tests or something going on in the class.

InshAllah (God willing), one day Oregon (and other states) will follow along and our kids will have a day off too. For now, the kids just have to miss school that day.

Have a happy Eid!

4- How To Celebrate Eid Al Fitr

Since this is the day every Muslims wait for during the whole month of Ramadan, we await sighting of the new moon in the sky and the announcement that Eid will be the next morning.

Time difference plays an important role in moon sighting, as my family in Pakistan celebrates Eid after we are almost done with the first day. So all over the world, Muslims go with their own timings.

Here Is How We Celebrate It:

As you now know, Eid is about celebrating the hard work and difficult tests that were passed during Ramadan, so you are all excited, and it feels very strange to be able to eat and drink whenever you please. The very first thing in the morning is you get up and wish everyone Eid Greetings and then everyone gets ready for the Eid prayer.

Ghusl or Cleaning Your Body

Everyone cleans their bodies by taking a special shower called “ghusl”, in Arabic. We put special new clothing on. My mother makes our clothing for us, as she loves to sew.

For better understanding, it’s like when you get ready for Easter Sunday to go to church. Everyone puts on new clothes and looks their best on that day. I always love Easter clothing and buy it for my kids when they go on sale after Easter is over.

In Muslim countries, people go to mosques. Here in Portland and other communities around the United States, we don’t have a huge mosque, so Muslims rent a place in a hotel or convention center to fit everyone in.

Before you start the prayer, you have to give Fitrana, a special charity which is spent on providing for the poor or anything else constructive. You also give charity during Ramadan which is called Zakat. It’s another type of charity. We give charity to poor people so we can balance society.

After you are done with charity, you proceed to prayers! Prayer is the most important part of Eid. After the prayers, you again wish Eid Greetings to all other Muslims and give gifts to young children.

What Is The Proper Greeting for Eid Al Fitr?

In Arabic, there are certain words you use to give Eid Greetings. You say “Eid Mubarak” to everyone, which means to have a happy Eid or a blessed Eid.

eid al fitr
This mosque is in Moscow. Isn’t it pretty?

5- How To Dress Up On Eid al Fitr

In Pakistani culture, we dress up in a very fancy way. I think Muslims all over the world put their fanciest and finest clothing on to celebrate this beautiful and gifted day. Girls normally put Henna on their hands and feet the night before Eid. Especially the moon sighting night. It’s so much fun to see how everyone is wearing beautiful clothing!. My mother makes my girls clothing and they get tons of compliments.

Eid al fitr and Henna
All the girls go for henna the night before Eid.

Little Girl’s Fancy Dresses

Here are the some fancy clothing you might like for your little one on Eid or Easter. They are very affordable.

TTYAOVO Girls Pageant Princess Flower Dress

Your little girl would look absolutely like a princess in this gorgeous dress. My younger daughter loves to dress up for Eid or other special days. She gets to have a fancy dress. It’s a lovely color with cotton polyester blending material.

Available for 6 to 14 year old girls in five different colors.

YUEXIN Big Girls Lace Flower Tulle Dress

This one is for less fancy girls, as my older daughter doesn’t always like to be fancy. The fabric is really good. Net or tulle on the top and very soft fabric used for lining.

Available sizes are 7 to 14 by age and in 3 colors. Totally affordable.

Totally adorable, and if you are looking for modest dress, there you have it.

Waloka Heel Mary Jane Princess Shoes

These are absolutely adorable shoes and they come in 18 colors up to size 13. You should order one size up, as I ordered the same size and it was too small for my little girl. Well, we gave a pair to my niece who was more than happy to wear them.

These really will make your little girls look like princesses.

Here is another one for little girls

You can find this one only up-to size 7. There are also 7 different colors. The material is a blend of cotton and polyester.

Girls always like pink!

Girls Blue Embroidered Shalwar Kameez

This is more like traditional clothing for Pakistani and Indian girls. Available in 4 sizes but no other color. I like how it comes with a little head covering as well. Made of cotton.

Little Boys Clothing

Boys mostly wear simple clothing. They don’t go crazy as we girls do. However, everyone likes to wear new clothing, right?

Boys Traditionl Salwar Kameez

Salwar kameez is a name of the attire boys wear in the subcontinent of India. They choose to wear shalwar kameez for the Eid Prayers.

Cute looking boy! It’s not my little boy, just a model on Amazon wearing shalwar kameez

Bollywood Style Festive and Party Wear Sherwani Set

Sherwani is another cultural or traditional dress boys like to put on. Normally little boys on Eid. They wear this when they want to be a bit fancy to compete with girls.

I love this blue color!

Johnnie Lene Pinstripe Boys Formal Vest Set

They don’t always wear traditional clothes. Most of the time they like regular American clothing, just like this one.

16 colors available. Great for Eid or Easter.

Check out: Mom’s Gift Ideas

6- Do People Exchange Gifts On Eid Al Fitr?

Yes, gifts are must have. Especially for children. It’s like Christmas as in how you buy gifts for not only your children but also for family and friends. These gifts are called Eidi.

What Is Eidi Then?

Eidi means all those gifts you give to children or adults but particularly money is considered more like Eidi as opposed to anything else. Gifts usually include money, accessories, and home goods such as sweet noodles and a pack of sugar and bangles are the most famous and popular to consider.

Do You Give Gifts To Your Non-Muslim Friends?

Absolutely! Growing up, my dad’s best friend was a Catholic Christian guy and my dad made sure he always invited him on Eid dinner and bought gifts for him and his family. It was such a nice time! He was my dad’s pen pal who then converted to a best friend for life.

7- What Food Is Eaten On Eid Al Fitr?

The sweets and the chicken biryani with chicken curry is the most famous food for Eid. You either visit or invite your relatives for lunch or dinner. My mom always did both. Our house was always a busy house. I miss Eid in Pakistan and I make sure my kids go there to celebrate Eid every other year with my mother.

Eid al Fitr
First, you serve sweets, I know it’s opposite of what it should be, but hey, on Eid we don’t remember the order of food..!
Eid al fitr
Then for dinner or lunch you serve biryani and chicken in any form.
eid al fitr
There is no way you miss the ice cream on Eid!
Eid al fitr
My husband invented a tradition for us that right after the prayers we get donuts on the way home.

8 – What Do You Do After Prayer?

Well, most of the time when people get done with the prayer, they go to the graveyard. At least I have seen this practice with our family. We used to go to our grandma’s grave and now my brothers go to my dad’s grave (May their souls rest in peace). You then take some food with you to give to other visitors.

Then there are traditional sweets that you eat. My entire life I saw my mother making seviyan. They are like sweet models.

Here is what we make for break fast on Eid.

It’s super easy to cook! All you do is boil them in hot water. It only takes a few minutes, and then you strain them with a strainer. You then add milk and sugar, and voila, you are good to go! Or, sometimes you can cook it in milk as well and add some sugar. It is the easiest recipe on earth.

9- Does Eid Al Fitr Comes on the Same Day Every Year?

I have been asked that question by my co-workers in the past several times. So I can put my request off on the base of Eid’s date, which varies. Maybe other people are looking for the same question. The best answer is what you can get from your Muslim friend.

Well, the short answer to the above question is “No”, and here is why: The Islamic calendar is based on Lunar cycles as opposed to the Gregorian calendar which is based on the solar cycle. In the Islamic calendar, every new month start with each new moon. Normally, if we average it the new moon appears every 29 to 30 days (29.53 to be exact). Hence, it makes the lunar month a bit shorter than the Gregorian months, which lasts 28 to 31 days.

Therefore, every year Ramadan is held almost 10 to 12 days earlier than it was the previous year, which makes Eid come 10 to 12 days earlier as well. Some years, Eid is after 30 days of Ramadan and some years after 29 days of Ramadan. Because of this, if Eid falls in the summer in your area, the fasting is longer and more of a test on your faith, and in the winter months, you can break the fast much more quickly.

10- How Many Eid’s Are In Islam?

There are two Eids in Islam. The one is Eid al Fitr and the second one is called Eid Al Adha (eed al-Ahd-huh). The first one you now know all about and the second one means “The Feast of the Sacrifice”, and we will talk about this in two months.

11- Is There Any Other Name For Eid Al Fitr?

There is another name for Eid. It’s called the smaller (eid al saghir) or lesser Eid, as Eid Al Fitr is one of the two important Eid celebrations in Islam. The other one is Eid al-Adha, the Feast of the Sacrifice or “Greater Eid”.”Eid al- Adha comes exactly 2 months and 10 days after the lesser Eid. (I will write an article about that as well)

12- Do American Calendars Mark Eid and Ramadan?

Yes, most of the calendars here mention Eid as a Muslim holiday and mark the beginning of the Ramadan as well. In fact, the first Iftar dinner (breaking the fast meal) was held in the White House in 1805 by president Thomas Jefferson, and the last one was by Obama in July 2016.

I am so proud of my American friends for the support and love they give to us Muslims. We love America as much as we love Pakistan, as my heart is divided between these two countries. I spent my unmarried life in Pakistan and spending my married life here in the USA.

Conclusion

Eid al Fitr is a big Islamic Holiday which Muslims celebrate it at the end of the month of Ramadan, which is the first day of the month of Shawal. Everybody gets very excited and wears new clothes, prays, exchange gifts and visit each other. They also give to charity and have good times with family. It’s one of the two important Eid holidays Muslims celebrate each year.

Next time when you see your Muslim friend on Eid day, say to them, “Eid Mubarak”!

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Happy eid al fitr

12 comments

  1. Thank you for sharing this Bushra. It’s such an amazing holiday and I am glad I know all the celebrations and sentiment around this holiday now . I also love seviyan, my mom always makes them . They are my comfort food. Those kids outfits are adorable. I love how your mom makes the outfits, it’s so special. We are all so lucky in North America to be able to celebrate all kinds of holidays.

  2. Wow, Bushra! Thank you so much for sharing 🙂 I really enjoy learning about everyone’s holidays and traditions! I think it is great that your family visits the graves of loved ones. I remember traveling to Russia back when I was in college and they will go have a picnic right on a family members grave. Their cemeteries were rather cheerful in my opinion. I also think it is awesome that your mom sews new clothing for the kids…that is so special! Thanks again for sharing, I thoroughly enjoyed learning from you 🙂

    1. Thank you Sarah! I agree with you, although you become a bit sad by going there that they are no longer with you but that’s the reality we all have to face at some point. Yup, my mother is a lovely women.

  3. Thank you for sharing this! It’s so interesting to learn more about your family and your traditions. I’ve heard of this, but never knew what exactly it was. The dresses for little girls are beautiful! I really enjoyed reading about this. You always have wonderful posts. 🙂

  4. Bushra, thank you so much for sharing this with us. It’s so informative, and so very important for everyone to learn about others religions, backgrounds, Faith’s, beliefs and traditions. I’m so happy to read about Eid xxx

    1. You are so brave and smart, things would be okay soon. We are good. You are not in our fb group, are you not on FB? So we can stay connected!!!

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