Sunday, July 19, 2015

Interfaith Days: Eid al-Fitr
Eid Mubarak! This is Eid al-Fitr, the Feast of Breaking the Fast, which marks the end of Ramadan and is the only day during which Muslims aren't permitted to fast. Of course, Ramadan is the month of strict fasting for Muslims in addition to peace-making, benevolent giving, as part of the emphasis on spiritual remual. Eid al-Fitr occurs on the first day of Shawwal, which is the month that follows Ramadan.

As this site indicates, "Before the day of Eid, during the last few days of Ramadan, each Muslim family gives a determined amount as a donation to the poor. This donation is of actual food -- rice, barley, dates, rice, etc. -- to ensure that the needy can have a holiday meal and participate in the celebration. This donation is known as sadaqah al-fitr (charity of fast-breaking).

"On the day of Eid, Muslims gather early in the morning in outdoor locations or mosques to perform the Eid prayer. This consists of a sermon followed by a short congregational prayer.

"After the Eid prayer, Muslims usually scatter to visit various family and friends, give gifts (especially to children), and make phone calls to distant relatives to give well-wishes for the holiday. These activities traditionally continue for three days. In most Muslim countries, the entire 3-day period is an official government/school holiday."

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