Every year, Muslims celebrate Eid Al-Fitr which marks the end of Ramadan. This celebration is the most festive of the Eids, and takes place over three days. Preparing for Eid means wearing your nicest clothes and indulging in various festivities. Although celebrations differ based on culture, the significance of this holiday remains constant across borders. Here are four fascinating festivities that are typically celebrated on Eid Al-Fitr!
- Festive Wear: Dress your Best!
Wearing your finest, most ornamental clothing is common on Eid Al-Fitr. For example, in the Middle East and other Islamic states, women generally wear long gowns or embellished abayas, while in Southeast Asia, women generally wear salwar kameez. It is also typical for western or modern Muslims to wear formal western attire. Alternatively, men either wear thawab, a festive pant suit, or formal western clothes.
- Common Festivities: Eat, Laugh, and Dance
During this celebratory time, Muslims gather for parties during the day and night. Typically large feasts are arranged where family and friends come and indulge in their country’s cultural cuisine. If you travelling abroad in a predominantly Muslim country, you may see festive lights and ornaments around the city. It is common to give gifts to those observing Eid, so, if you work with Muslim counterparts, a box of dates is a nice gesture. Additionally, prayers are often arranged and friends and family commonly pray together. After dinner, friends and family have a good time, chat, and enjoy the feast. For example, Chaand raat, or “night of the moon,” an Urdu phrase coined in the Indian subcontinent, includes dancing, cultural foods, and henna hand art.
- Charity: Giving back
Giving back is a part of the celebration! During Ramadan, Zakat, or giving charity to the less fortunate is an important part of the holiday. These practices are further encouraged on Eid Al-Fitr by giving both food and money to underserved communities. Although it is typical to indulge with friends and family, giving to those who cannot indulge is recommended and remains a large part of observing the Muslim faith. When participating in an Eid celebration with Muslim friends, it is also common for adults to give children Eidi, or ‘goodwill’ money as a part of celebrating.