In Islamic tradition there are two festivals per year, which are known as Eid-ul-fitr and Eid-ul-Adha; both of which have great significance behind them according to the muslim calendar.
How many Eids are there ?
For muslims there are two Eids each year, Eid-ul-Adha and Eid-ul-Fitr as mentioned in the Hadith (sayings of the Prophet Muhammad):
Anas bin Maalik (radi Allahu anhu) said: “The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) came to Madinah and the people had two days when they would play and have fun. He said, ‘What are these two days?’ They said, ‘We used to play and have fun on these days during the Jaahiliyyah (Days of Ignorance). The Messenger of Allah (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, ‘Allah has given you something better than them, the day of (Eid) Adhaa and the day of (Eid) Fitr.’”
[Sunan Abu Dawood – Classed as Sahih by Shaykh al-Albaani]
The most renowned of the two Eids is Eid-ul-fitr which is on the 1st Shawal (the 10th month of the islamic calendar). This joyous occasion marks the end of the holy month of Ramadan in which muslims observe complete abstinence from food and water from sunrise to sunset. It is believed that within this month the muslim holy book, the Quran was revealed unto the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him).
The second Eid (Eid-ul-Adha) happens on 10th day of the Islamic month of Dhu al-Hijjah and is a commemoration of the prophet Abhram (Ibrahim) obeying the command of God to sacrifice his son. God was pleased with Abraham’s commitment and replaced his son (Ishmael) with a lamb. Muslims also partake in the holy pilgrimage to Mecca which was also performed by the prophet Abhram and his descendants.
How to celebrate Eid ?
Most non muslims are oblivious to Eid celebrations as they do not usually involve the same level of festive lighting and firework displays that other religious festivals have associated with them. However there is a well defined routine that muslims observe in order to honour and celebrate Eid properly.
- Things muslims to do to celebrate eid:
- Pay a charity specific to the day of eid (this is done before the Eid prayer)
- Bathe to purify themselves
- Wear new or nice clothes
- Wear perfume
- Go to the mosque in the morning and attend the Eid prayer (salah)
- Visit friends, family and relatives
When muslims go to visit friends, family and relatives on Eid it generally involves exchanging of gifts and amazing food.