September 30, 2008, Tuesday/ 17:32:00
Eid al-Fitr is a three-day religious festival that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan. Eid is an Arabic term meaning “festivity” or “celebration” while fitr means “to break the fast” and can also mean “nature,” from the word “fitra.” On the first day of the celebration, observant Muslim families wake up very early and, after praying the first of the daily prayers, eat a small meal, a symbolic act that reminds them that Ramadan is over. They then attend congregational prayers held specially for this occasion in mosques or, in places where mosques are not enough to hold the entire local male Muslim population, in large open areas or even stadiums. The prayer is made up of two cycles followed by a sermon. Worshippers greet and hug one another in a spirit of peace and love after the congregational prayer in celebration of one another’s eid. After the prayer, the festivity commonly begins with visits to the homes of relatives and friends.