As the last few days of the holy month of Ramadan are drawing to a close, Muslims all over the world are gearing up for the auspicious festival of Eid-ul-Fitr. Marking the end of the fasting month, as per the sighting of the moon on the last day of Ramadan, Eid is the first date of the 10th Islamic month, Shawwal. Fasting from dawn to dusk, the Muslim community seeks forgiveness from the Almighty for their past sins and continues to observe it for one whole month until the sighting of the moon which marks the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, meaning ‘festival of breaking the fast’ is English.

When will Eid-ul-Fitr be celebrated in India?
As per the calendar based on the phases of the moon and the International Astronomical Centre (IAC), the day of Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated June 5 meaning, the last day of Ramadan will be on June 4. However, the dates may vary if the moon is not seen on the 29th Roza. In such a case, Eid-ul-Fitr will be celebrated on June 6 in India.

Significance
The festive day begins by offering Eid prayer at the mosque. The Islamic prayer, known as salat, comprises of two units of prayer known as rakats along with six incarnations. The Eid prayer is followed by the sermon after which Muslims ask for Allah’s forgiveness, mercy, peace and blessings for all living beings across the world. The prayer is performed in an assembly and is followed by raising of the hands to the ears while saying ‘Allahu Akbar’ which means God is the greatest. Muslims believe that apart from fasting for a month, they are commanded by Allah to pay Zakat-al-Fitr before offering prayers on the occasion of Eid.

Celebrations
After the prayers, Muslims visit their family members and friends to wish “Eid Mubarak” to each other or host Eid celebrations at their homes or community centers. The special Eid-al-Fitr delicacies are cooked at every Muslim household consisting of Biryani, Haleem, Nalli Nihari, Seviyan, Mutton Kaleji and different kinds of kebabs. The girls and women dress up in shararas or extraordinary salwar suits, pairing it with a headscarf, called a hijab while men and boys opt for a traditional kurta pyjama. Eidi is usually given to the children of the household in the form of a gift or money. It is a tradition is to keep the spirit of the celebration alive among children.