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Eid ul-Fitr is a three-day celebration that marks the end of the sacred month of Ramadhan. It is celebrated by Muslims around the world and is a thoroughly joyous time for the community.

If you are new to the Muslim community and are looking for guidance on how to mark Eid ul-Fitr, look no further. We have put together this essential guide that contains all the information you need to know about Eid celebrations, the Eid 2021 dates and more.

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What is Eid?

When translated, Eid ul-Fitr means “festival of breaking the fast”. As such, Eid is a three-day celebration that marks the end of the holy month of Ramadhan during which all able Muslims around the world honour sawm (the fourth pillar of Islam) and abstain from eating between sunrise and sunset for 30 days.

It is forbidden to fast during Eid, so if you broke your fast and are required to pay Kaffarah or fast for an additional 60 days, you cannot do so during the time of Eid.

Why is Eid Celebrated?

Eid is celebrated to mark the end of Ramadhan, but also to thank Allah (SWT) for sharing the Qur’an.

Ramadhan is a time for exercising great strength and discipline, and so Eid is also a way for Muslims to thank Allah for giving them the strength to get through the month of fasting and self-reflection.

In addition, many Muslims use Eid as a way to celebrate the lives of those who have passed on and honour them.

How is Eid Celebrated?

When the new crescent moon has been sighted at the beginning of the 10th month of the Islamic calendar (Shawwal), the Eid celebrations begin. Houses and streets are decorated, and the evening prior to - or the morning of - the first day of Eid, sweet treats and desserts are prepared.

It is traditional for dates and water/milk to be consumed to break the fast. This is followed by Fajr, translated as dawn prayers, which take place within the home. Next, Muslims must purify themselves and cleanse their bodies through Ghusl. Once clean and pure, Muslims head to the mosque or another large area (either outdoors or in a town hall) to join their fellow community for post-dawn prayers. On the way to prayers, it is common to recite takbeerat and praise God.

After the prayers, congratulations are exchanged, as well as the traditional Eid greeting, ‘Eid Mubarak’, meaning ‘blessed celebration’, ‘happy Eid’ or ‘have a blessed holiday’ depending on the interpretation you choose to follow.

It is customary for Muslims to wear new clothes on Eid, and if not new clothes, their very finest clothes. Once dressed in their best attire, Muslims will spend the day visiting friends and family. Children are presented with gifts, and sweets are exchanged between neighbours.

Different countries and cultures celebrate Eid in different ways, although the basic idea is to give thanks to Allah and to consume rich meals and enjoy good company to mark the end of the holy month.

When is Eid ul-Fitr?

As with Ramadhan, the Eid date changes year on year in line with the lunar cycle. The Eid ul-Fitr date in the UK is estimated to be on Thursday 13th May 2021, although this is subject to change. If the crescent moon is not sighted on this day, Ramadhan continues until the moon has been seen.

The start of Ramadhan depends on when the new moon has been sighted at the start of the ninth lunar month, but different people choose to go by different sightings. Some go by solar estimations, others go by the moon above Mecca or the moon above their local area. The same goes for Eid.

Woman celebrating with children after presenting them with Eidi

Zakat ul-Fitr 

Ramadhan is the most sacred month and Eid is equally as important for Muslims around the world, but not all Muslims have the means to join in the celebrations due to situations outside of their control. As such, it is required that all Muslims – regardless of age and health – pay Zakat ul-Fitr. Also known as Fitrana, Zakat ul-Fitr is a compulsory donation that must be made before the first Eid prayers so that those less fortunate may also join in with the celebrations by way of a nourishing meal.

The Fitrana amount can change year on year, but it is typically less than £5. If you are an adult with dependents (children) who cannot pay for themselves, the head of the household must pay on their behalf. 

You may donate your Fitrana through an Eid ul-Fitr charity, such as ILM, and we will use the donations to distribute food and resources to those in need so that they too can join in with the celebrations. 

If you have any questions about Eid, when is Eid in the UK, what does Eid mean or Eid charity, please contact us, or to make a donation, please head over to our donations page and we will be most grateful to receive your support.

Donate your Zakat ul-Fitr today