Eid al Fitr

End of Ramadan (Gregorian date changes each year)

Empire State Building lit green for Eid al Fitr

This week Muslims around the world follow up the moderation and solemnity of Ramadan with the joy and festivity of Eid-al-Fitr. Fitr means breaking of the fast, [actually “natural condition”; see comment below!] referring to the month-long fast during Ramadan. Eid means “festival”, of which Islam has only two: today’s Eid-al-Fitr and Eid-al-Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice).

The days before Eid-al-Fitr are some of the biggest shopping days of the year in Muslim communities. Families stock up on special foods in preparation for celebrating the Fitr meal(s), buy or make presents and new clothes for the holiday events, and make sure to purchase extra food (Zakat) that will be distributed among the poor, ensuring that all families have enough to celebrate with during the three-days of festivities.

Muslims recite a special Eid prayer during Eid-al-Fitr. According to Islamicity.com

Eid prayer is wajib (strongly recommended, just short of obligatory). It consists of two Rakaat (units) with six or thirteen additional Takbirs. It must be offered in congregation. The prayer is followed by the Khutbah.

At the conclusion of the prayer the Muslims should convey greetings to each other, give reasonable gifts to the youngsters and visit each other at their homes.

With its emphasis on family, celebration, and gratitude toward God, Eid-al-Fitr might be compared to both Christmas and Thanksgiving in the West. Unlike Christmas, the season changes slightly year by year. Because the Gregorian calendar is 11 days longer than the Islamic calendar, by 2023 Eid-al-Fitr will fall during spring. Around 2030 it will fall during winter.

This year Eid-al-Fitr coincides with the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashanah, the beginning of ten days of repentance.


Eid-al-Fitr – from Ignite the Light Within

7 Replies to “Eid al Fitr”

  1. from what I learn, Fitr come from the word fitrah, which means “natural condition” or can be said the condition of the soul before any sin “spoil” it. after the fast of ramadan, people are back to their “fitrah” condition, free of any sins and clean as a “white cloth”.

    zakat is not a food, zakat is alm for the poor, and can also be money (usually it is a money!). there are many kinds of zakat, but the zakat during the eld ul-fitr is called “zakat fitrah”, and it is obligatory for every muslim to give zakat to the poor (which is 2.5% of their wealth). usually the mosque will distribute the zakat to the poor.

  2. Thanks for all the good information.

    Did they really light up the Empire State Building in green?? We’ve come a long way.

  3. Thank you!

    As for the Empire State Building, I don’t know when they started lighting the building for Eid al-Fitr, but your comment made me curious about the lights. It turns out the first color light display was for the U.S. Bicentennial in 1976–red, white, and blue of course. And since then they’ve been adding more holidays and events, including not just holidays (July 4, Christmas, etc.) but also whenever the home team (Yankees/Mets) wins the pennant or World Series.

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