When is The Muslim Festivals?
There are many Islamic or Muslim festivals and celebrations, and Muslims celebrate these events according to the Islamic or Muslim calendar, which is also known as the Hijri calendar. The Hijri calendar is a Lunar one that consists of 12 months and 354 days, some months consist of 30 days, and others consist of 29 days. There are certain events that are celebrated as holidays and others are to be marked and remembered by Muslims. There are two main Islamic or Muslim festivals, that are known and celebrated among all Muslims; which are Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha, Muslims wait for these festivals every year to celebrate and do their traditional religious practices. In order for the celebrations to begin a Muslim leaders committee needs to declare and announce the Eid dates, and this is announced after this committee sights the moon in order to determine the start and end date of both Muslim festivals and the exact Eid dates.
Eid Al Fitr
This Muslim festival is related to Ramadan, which is the day after the month of Ramadan or the month of fasting has ended. Eid Al Fit is the celebration of the end of fasting, in which Muslims celebrate their accomplishment of fasting the whole month of Ramadan and having complete self-control over their human needs.
The meaning of Fitr is breaking the fast, so Eid Al Fitr is the festival where Muslims celebrate breaking their fast. This Muslim festival is celebrated by most Muslims every single year after Ramadan which is also known as the “holy month”. Fasting in Ramadan gives Muslims the opportunity to get closer to God, ask for Allah’s forgiveness, and practice their patience and self-control by fasting from dawn to dusk. Since all Muslims from all around the world are required to fast in Ramadan; therefore, all Muslims tend to celebrate Eid Al Fitr after fasting the 30 days of Ramadan, this Muslim festival lasts three days and is considered one of the biggest and most important Muslim festivals. Muslim start the Fitr Eid by gathering on the first day of Eid and going to the mosque to perform the Eid prayer which is known as “Salat Al Eid”, in which they are given the opportunity to thank Allah for giving them the power and ability to fast the month of Ramadan, after that, they start greeting each other and wishing everyone they know a happy Eid or “Eid Mubarak”. It is a tradition among Muslims during Eid Al Fitr to visit their family members and friends to celebrate with them. There are other activities that are common during Eid Al Fitr such as giving children sweets and money which is known as “Edeya”. Other Muslim families celebrate Eid Al Fitr by decorating their homes, getting dressed in new clothes, baking sugar cookies, known as “Kahk”, and eating special Eid food.
In addition, a well-known element among Muslims in Eid Al Fitr is Zakat Al Fitr; which is the charity of breaking the fast, in which every adult Muslim needs to donate a certain amount of money to anyone who’s in need, this donation must be cash or food that is equivalent to 2 kg of wheat flour, rice or other staple foodstuffs. Zakat Al Fitr is obligatory for all Muslims, and they could do these donations during Ramadan, or during Eid Al Fitr, it has to be overdone before Eid comes to an end.
Eid Al Adha
Eid Al Adha, known to some people as “Eid Al Kibr” or the greater Eid, is another big celebration in the Islamic calendar Eid Al Adha, is also considered one of the major Muslim festivals in Islam. During this Muslim festival, some people perform Hajj (pilgrimage to Kaaba in Makkah). Hajj is one of the five pillars or rules of Islam. The celebration of Eid Al Adha is to remember when Prophet Ibrahim showed his devotion to Allah by and was going to sacrifice Ismail his son to Allah, then Allah replace Ibrahim’s son with a ram or sheep to be slaughtered instead of Ismail. This is why during this Muslim festival families sacrifice animals including sheep, camels, cows, or goats. The practice of animal sacrifice is not an obligation, only families can afford this practice. After sacrificing the animal, the flesh of this animal gets divided among poor people and themselves. Eid Al Adha mainly celebrates the mercy of Allah and the obedience of Prophet Ibrahim, and this story is mentioned in the Quran.
Not all Muslim festivals are celebrated and marked as holidays; however, both Eid Al Fitr and Eid Al Adha are considered the main Muslim festivals that are marked and celebrated by all Muslims and are official holidays in most Islamic countries.
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