28 August 2011 /
Eid al-Fitr, a three-day religious holiday, marks the end of the month of fasting. Eid is an Arabic term meaning “festivity” or “celebration,” while fitr means “to break the fast.”
Eid al-Fitr is one of two Islamic holidays; the other is Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice). Eid al-Fitr falls on the first day of Shawwal, the month that follows Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. As days in the Muslim calendar begin at sunset, Eid al-Fitr starts tonight. The Arabic greetings “Eid Mubarak” (Blessed Eid) and “Eid Kareem” (Noble Eid) are common during this holiday. In Turkey, the holiday is known as Ramazan Bayramı (Ramadan Holiday) and greetings include phrases such as “Ramazan Bayramınız mübarek olsun” (May your Eid be blessed). Traditionally Muslims buy new, dressy clothes for the holiday. They visit loved ones and pay their respects to the deceased by visiting their graves. Eid is also a time to give charity to those in need and celebrate with family and friends the completion of a month of blessings and joy. It is a day of forgiveness and moral victory as well as of brotherhood and unity. Muslims celebrate not only the end of fasting but also thank God for the help and strength that He bestowed upon them throughout the month of fasting.