Learn About Eid
Assalamualaikum (peace be unto you) & hello friends,
Today we will learn about Eid! This blog post breaks it all down for you.
What is Eid?
Eid is an Arabic word that translates into feast or festival/celebration. It is the Muslim holiday. Muslims celebrate two Eids, Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha. There are other religious common observances like Ramadan (the month of fasting, you can learn more by clicking here) or Friday prayers but there are only two annual Eids.
When is Eid?
Muslims follow a lunar calendar so religious observations cycle through the seasons. The lunar calendar is 10-11 days shorter than the solar one. This means that if Eid falls on May 13 in 2021, it will be around May 3 in 2022.
A new month starts with the birth of a new moon that is visible to the naked eye. Some Muslim communities sight the new moon every month and therefore the calculated dates on the calendars may not 100% match. Other communities calculate when the new moon will be visible and dates are set ahead of time.
Eid Al-Fitr (5/13/21*)
The Feast of Breaking-Fast is the first Eid of the Muslim calendar. Eid Al-Fitr is celebrated after the month of Ramadan (dietitians, click here for more resources on Ramadan), the month of fasting. It begins on the first day of the 10th month of the Muslim calendar.
It is impermissible to fast on Eid and Muslims make sure to break their overnight fast as early as possible on the morning of. Muslims give a small charity before the start of the festivities to ensure the entire community can enjoy the day.
Eid Al-Adha (7/20/21*)
The Feast of Sacrifice falls on the 10th day of the 12th, and final, month of the Muslim lunar calendar. This coincides with the annual pilgrimage (Hajj) and commemorates the story of Prophet Ibrahim (as) and the sacrificial lamb . This story exists within Judeo-Christian tradition as well, although the specific son is disagreed upon.
Individuals that are financially able slaughter an animal and donate the meat to those less fortunate.
*Since some communities follow calculations and others prefer to sight the moon, this date is an estimate, +/- 1 day.
How do Muslims Celebrate Eid?
Muslims usually take the day off and dress nicely to attend a large congregational prayer. Oftentimes, nearby mosques will pray together in large areas like soccer fields, banquet halls, and even football stadiums. Afterwards there are festivities that vary from culture to culture and communities but can include carnivals for children, visiting friends and families, gift giving, dinner parties, and more.
In the US, it can be hard for some to fully take the day off because of work commitments or school. You can support your Muslim students, colleagues, and clients by not scheduling any important meetings or events during Eid so they can enjoy the holiday.
Thank you for joining me to learn about Eid.
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Dua Aldasouqi, MA, RDN