Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated by Muslims worldwide to mark the end of the month-long dawn-to-dusk fasting. South Indian states Kerala and Udupi usually embrace Ramzan and Eid a day ahead of the rest of India. However, this didn’t happen in 2019. Panakkad Hyderali Shihab Thangal, The chief khazi of Kozhikode Kozhikode K V Imbichahammed Haji, Kerala hilal committee and different bodies of clerics confirmed that the moon sighting heralding Islamic month of Shawwal was not reported on June 3 evening. Last year, some of the observers believe that the dates of Ramzan and Eid in Kerala and Udupi coincides with Saudi Arabia, some of them claim that the dominant Shafi school of thought in the state follows the lunar calendar of Saudi Arabia.

Kerala and Udupi will celebrate Eid-ul-Fitr with the rest of India i.e. June 5. The date may vary according to the moon sighting.

Ramadan or Ramzan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims abstain from food and water from sunrise to sunset and join mass prayers at mosques. Eid-ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramzan. This annual observance is regarded as one of the five pillars of Islam.

Earlier, a Kochi-based preacher Fazlur Rahman revealed the real reason behind Kerala and Udupi celebrating Eid. He said, “It is purely geographical. There is no allegiance toward Saudi Arabia. We do not follow their lunar calendar. He further claimed that Kerala and Udupi are coastal states and sights moon on the 29th day of the lunar calendar. Sometimes the date coincides with Saudi Arabia.”

Eid-ul-Fitr begins with Muslims taking a bath or performing ablution to clean themselves and wearing their best attire before heading to mosques or open spaces called Eidgah to offer mandatory congregational prayers known as Eid-ul-Fitr prayers. Muslims are also required to pay the Sadaqa-al-Fitr or Zakat-al-Fitr, a charitable donation before the Eid-ul-Fitr prayers. Once the prayers and Khutbah are over, people greet each other and chant the Eid Takbirs aloud. Muslims visit their family members and friends to wish “Eid Mubarak” to each other or host Eid celebrations at their homes or community centers.