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Eid ul-Fitr

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Introduction

This sacred Muslim festival marks the end of the Islamic holy month of Ramadan and also to the month long fasting. Thus, Eid ul-Fitr is also known as the Feast of Breaking the Fast and the Lesser Eid. As per the Hijiri calendar Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated on the first day of the month known as Shawwal, it is the tenth month of the Islamic calendar. This day signifies Muslim brotherhood and their devotion towards almighty that helps them attain self-control. As per the traditional Muslim belief system, the Holy Quran was revealed to Prophet Muhammad in the last ten days of Ramadan and thus, Eid ul-Fitr also commemorates this momentous occasion.

 

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History of Eid ul-Fitr

Before the advent of Islam in Arabia, there is mention of festivals as well as some others among the Arabs. The Israelites had festivals as well, some directly prescribed in the Torah and others commemorating important days of their history.

Eid ul-Fitr was originated by the Islamic prophet Muhammad. It is observed on the first of the month of Shawwal at the end of the month of Ramadan, during which Muslims undergo a period of fasting.

 

How to celebrate Eid ul-Fitr

In India a night before the Eid is spent going on shopping sprees in various local markets and malls, which remain open late in night to mark the occasion. Groups of Muslim families can be seen buying and enjoying bargaining at various shops for various food items, clothes and accessories. To mark the occasion women of the community apply mehndi on their palms and feet. Colorful bangles also become a much coveted item during the Eid celebrations. This night before the Eid, when preparatory celebrations of the festival begin in the country, is known as the Chaand Raat, when translated in English it means "Night of the Moon."

 

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In India on the day of the Eid, the members of the Muslim community greet each other cheerfully by saying Eid Mubarak and then embrace each other formally. On this day family members, relatives and friend exchange gifts. New clothes are worn and children often get some token amount of cash, known as Eidi from the elders of the family. Children are at their best behavior and offer formal greetings (salam) to their parents and other older acquaintances. On this pious day a large congregation gathers at the mosque to offer prayers, however before worship people often give charity, which is locally known as fitra. Since it is believed that charity done at this time of the year, yields manifold rewards to the giver than any other time, many people take this opportunity to distribute zakat, which is the donation of 2.5% of the total yearly saving done by Muslim.

After offering Eid prayers, families often visit the graves of their deceased family members and offer prayers for their salvation. Visiting neighbors, elderly relatives and sharing special meals cooked for the day with one another, is also a common practice followed by Muslims in India. Sivayyan, sweet vermicelli noodles dish prepared with milk and dried fruits is the main dessert of the day. In India most popular congregating places for Muslims are Jama Masjid in New Delhi, Mecca Masjid in Hyderabad, Aishbagh Idgah in Lucknow etc. Thus, Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated with great enthusiasm across India.

 

Significant of Eid ul-Fitr

The sacred month of Ramadan, is considered the most significant month as per the traditional Islamic calendar. This is a month which is spent by the Muslim community throughout the world in great contemplation of the Almighty and self, while offering prayers, fasting and feasting. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Hijiri calendar and lasts.

 

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