The Muslim community is getting ready to celebrate the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan with communal prayers and various festivities. Ramadan is the month on the Islamic lunar calendar during which Muslims abstain from food, drink and other sensual pleasures from break of dawn to sunset. The end of Ramadhan marks the beginning of the three-day Eid ul-Fitr or “feast of fast breaking” holiday, in which Muslims exchange social visits and seek to strengthen bonds of brotherhood in the community. They celebrate with prayers of thanksgiving, good food, new clothes, gift giving, and all the other festivities associated with a happy occasion. Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated not because the month of Ramadhan is over, but out of gratitude to God for having obeyed the commandments in the holy month.
Eid day is an exciting time for Muslims. Before the Eid prayer Muslims give out some money for the poor. This is a reminder that the fasting has made them more understanding of the needs of others. Then they go to mosques for the Eid prayer. After that most people visit family and friends where they will exchange gifts, share sweetmeats, and enjoy time together. Most Muslim communities will hold an Eid dinner later in the evening for the people to get together. The celebrations continue for a couple more days, sometimes even till the next weekend.
During this holiday, Muslims greet each other by saying “Eid mubarak” meaning “blessed Eid,” and “taqabbala allahu a’maalakum” or “may God accept your deeds”. It is a time to reflect on the month that has passed, to be happy at having achieved a month of fasting and worship, and to hope that the deeds have earned the pleasure of the Lord.