Astronomers predict that this year, most of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims will celebrate Eid on May 23 or 24.
Rabat – Muslims around the world are preparing to celebrate the end of Ramadan with Eid Al Fitr. Here is everything you should know about the celebration.
In parts of Europe, the holiday is commonly referred to as “Sugar Festival.” The name derives from the practice of Muslim hosts offering sweets and food to guests. In other countries, local languages directly translate the holiday to some variation of breaking one’s fast or simply “the celebration.”
After one month of fasting from sunrise to sunset, a practice that involves refraining from all eating, drinking, smoking, or sexual activity, Muslims are expected to end the holy month with a deeper understanding of their faith, personal development, and a heightened sense of empathy.
Traditionally, the one-to-three-day celebration involves communal post-dawn prayers, special sermons, feasts, reunions, gift-giving, and making offerings to charity.
Zakat, one of the five pillars of Islam, refers to the annual amount of charitable donations a person is obliged to give in an effort to circulate wealth among communities. Regarding Eid Al Fitr, the practice of giving is known as Zakat Al-Fitr.
Monetary and food donations are traditionally collected in the final days of Ramadan leading up to the end-of-the-month celebration. Zakat Al-Fitr ensures all Muslims, regardless of wealth, are able to participate in the celebratory feast.
Worshippers are encouraged to use the occasion as a time to seek forgiveness, exercise generosity, and display gratitude.
This year, Muslims around the world will adapt celebrations to meet restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As many places of worship remain closed, a number of mosques have moved their prayers and sermons to virtual platforms to allow followers to safely partake in this year’s religious ceremonies.
As with the start of Ramadan, the Eid Al-Fitr holiday begins with the sighting of the crescent moon, making it impossible to predict an exact date. Traditionally, if the moon is not observed with the naked eye after the 29th day of the ninth lunar month, Ramadan will continue for another day.
Since the new moon is not in the same state at the same time across all countries and weather or other factors may impact its visibility, respective locations may announce sightings of the moon at varying times.
In 2020, according to astronomers, most of the world’s 1.8 billion Muslims will celebrate Eid on May 23 or 24. Moroccans are expected to celebrate Eid al-Fitr on May 24, while those breaking their fast in Saudi Arabia will celebrate a day earlier, on May 23.