This year Eid al-Fitr starts on May 1 or May 2, depending on the lunar calendar.
The start of the holiday is timed to the first sighting of the crescent moon marking the beginning of the Islamic month of Shawwal.
Some countries, such as Turkey, rely on technology to see the crescent moon. Others, still follow the tradition of sticking to bare eyes to see the moon’s shape.
Eid al-Fitr is celebrated to commemorate the end of the fasting month of Ramadan and takes place over three days. Eid al-Fitr means “the celebration of breaking the fast.”
Ramadan marks the time when the Quran, the Muslim holy book, was revealed to Prophet Muhammad. Devout Muslims fast during daylight hours and spend time in self-reflection, prayer and giving charity.
There are two Eids celebrated in the year: Eid al-Adha and Eid al-Fitr.
Eid al-Adha, or “feast of the sacrifice,” celebrated this year from July 9-10, marks the willingness of the Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son to Allah. In Christianity and Judaism, this is told as the story of Abraham and his son Isaac.