As the end of Ramadan nears, anticipation for Eid al Fitr celebrations is growing among Muslims across the world.
Rabat – Following the end of Ramadan, Muslims around the world celebrate Eid al Fitr with festivities lasting three or four days. The holiday typically consists of prayer, shared meals, and time with family, though specific traditions vary by country.
In Muslim-majority countries businesses will close. However, as Eid al Fitr is not a public holiday in Western countries most businesses hold normal hours, though some Muslim-owned establishments choose to close in honor of the religious holiday.
“A majority of Americans don’t even know eid is so to come into Morocco where it is a Muslim country and, of course it would be, but eid is so highly celebrated, it’s definitely different,” Frannetia Beliard, a student at Florida State University who converted to Islam a few years ago and is working in Morocco for the summer told Morocco World News.
The majority of American Muslims celebrate Ramadan, with 80 percent of adults saying they fast for the month, according to a 2017 study by Pew Research Center.
“That’s not how it should be – that people only celebrate eid and don’t really do the essence of Ramadan,” Belliard said. “If you’re going to follow the faith follow it one hundred percent – be a Muslim other parts of the year.”
The meaning, essence, and fasting are the most important parts of Ramadan for her in America where she said she typically wouldn’t celebrate eid because she is not part of a Muslim community, but is looking forward to the eid celebrations in Morocco.
Muslims believe the month of Ramadan is when God first revealed verses of the Quran to the Prophet Mohammed. Believers fast from sunrise until sunset throughout this month as a way to draw closer to God and increase compassion for those in need.
In response to recent targeted attacks against Muslims, many mosques in both the US and the UK have heightened security for the month of Ramadan in anticipation of increased attendance at prayer.
In the US, Muslims gather at and outside mosques, in parks, and sports stadiums to honor Eid el Fitr. Eid celebrations occur across parks in Europe too – the largest takes place in Birmingham, England where hundreds of thousands of attendees have celebrated together in past years.
The Islamic calendar is determined by the moon, compared to the West’s Gregorian calendar which is set by the sun – the first visible crescent moon marks the start of a new Islamic month.
Eid al Fitr will begin June 4 in the US, and several other countries, including Saudi Arabia, Algeria, Qatar, and UAE.
Other countries like Tunisia, Indonesia, and Australia will celebrate Eid Al Fitr on Wednesday instead.
Morocco is expected to announce Wednesday as the first day of Eid Al Fitr, marking the end of the holy month of Ramada.