Celebrate Eid

Eid means happiness. Eid teaches you to laugh and love. There are two major Eids, or holidays, that are celebrated by Muslims worldwide. Each of these have many names, but they are most commonly called Eid al-Fitr, the Festival of Breaking Fast, and Eid al-Adha, the Festival of the Sacrifice. Both of these holidays include prayer and charity towards the poor, but they are also days of celebration with family and friends.


Celebrating Eid al-Fitr

  1. Celebrate at the end of Ramadan. Eid al-Fitr means "Festival of the Breaking the Fast," and occurs on the first day of the lunar month Shawwal, after the fasting month of Ramadan. In some regions, Muslims gather on hillsides to watch the moon, and celebrate once the local religious figures declare that Eid has begun. This sometimes take two or three days of watching, but individual Muslim countries may have an official three-day government holiday planned in advance to cover all possibilities.
    • Because Eid is based on the Islamic lunar calendar, it does not fall on the same day each year on the Gregorian (Western) calendar. Search online or ask a Muslim to find out when the holiday occurs this year.
  2. Look your best. Buying new clothes for Eid is a widespread tradition, and those who can't afford to will still make an effort to look their best. Muslim women in South Asia often Use-Henna-for-Skin the night before Eid. Men are encouraged to wear perfume or cologne.
    • Many people Perform-Ghusl by taking a shower or bath on the morning of Eid.
  3. Break your fast shortly after sunrise. Muslims are not allowed to fast on Eid al-Fitr, since they are celebrating the end of fasting. Eating food before you attend prayer is encouraged. Sometimes, celebrants follow the prophet Muhammad's example by breaking their fast with an odd number of dates (usually one or three).
    • Perform Takbir before sunrise is also recommended if you are Muslim. Do this by raising their hands and saying "Allahu Akbar" (God is great). If you attend a prayer, as described below, the congregation will do this several times during the event.
  4. Attend an Eid prayer. Imams hold special Eid prayers in the early morning of the holiday, usually at a large central mosque, an open field, or a stadium. In some regions, all Muslims attend this event. In others, women are encouraged but not required, and in others, the event is male-only. After the prayer is completed, worshippers embrace each other and say "Eid Mubarak," or "Blessed Eid," to wish each other good will. The event ends with a sermon by the imam.
  5. Celebrate with sweet food and family. Eid al-Fitr is sometimes called the "Sweet Holiday," since sweet foods are usually eaten in celebration of the end of Ramadan fasting. Mosques may provide sweet food before or after the Eid prayer, but many people also cook desserts themselves and celebrate at home.
    • There are no requirements for the food you eat (other than following halal), but regional traditions include Make-Date-Balls, Make-Halwa-Puri, Make-Falooda-Kulfi, cookies with milk, Make-Baklava, and Prepare-Vermicelli-Porridge-(Indian-Style).
  6. Give gifts to young people. Adults usually give children and young people money or gifts on Eid, and occasionally trade gifts between each other as well. Families will often visit their neighbors and extended relatives after the morning celebration to wish them a happy holiday and exchange these gifts.
  7. Give to the poor. "Zakat al-fitr," or the duty to give to the poor on this day, is a requirement for every Muslim who has the means to do so. Typically, each individual's contribution is about the cost of a meal, and may take the form of money, food, or clothing.
  8. Celebrate the rest of the day. Many people eat a family lunch and/or dinner of meat, potatoes, rice, barley, or any food you like. Some rest in the afternoon to recover from a day that began at sunrise. Others attend fairs and events organized for Eid, party with their friends in the evening, or visit the graves of deceased friends and family.
    • In many regions, Eid is celebrated for three days, or celebrated on different days by different Muslim groups. If you like, you can wake up early to repeat the celebration and prayer tomorrow.

Celebrating Eid al-Adha

  1. Celebrate at the end of the time of pilgrimage. Eid al-Adha is celebrated directly after the Perform-Hajj, or pilgrimage to Mecca. This is usually on the 10th day of the Islamic lunar month Dhul Hijjah, but this can vary based on the practices of local religious authorities.[1] Muslims everywhere celebrate this holiday, even if they did not perform hajj this year.
    • Because the holiday is determined by the lunar calendar, it does not fall on the same date on the Gregorian (Western) calendar each year.
  2. Attend an Eid prayer. As described in the section on Eid al-Fitr, Muslims, or sometimes only the men, usually attend an Eid prayer followed by a sermon early in the morning. Everyone does their best to dress up and look presentable, showers or bathes in the morning, and wears new clothes if they can afford to purchase them.
    • Unlike Eid al-Fitr, there is no special focus on sweets or breaking your fast.
  3. Sacrifice a four-legged animal. Each individual or household who can afford to do so should sacrifice a sheep, cow, goat, or camel on Eid al-Adha, to commemorate the animal God sent to Abraham to replace his son Ishmael as a sacrifice. The animal should be healthy, and halal must be followed when slaughtering the animal.
  4. Cook and distribute the meat. The meat from the sacrificed animal is cooked, using any method you prefer. One third of it is eaten by the household or group that sacrificed. One third of it is given to extended family and friends, often at a separate feast. One third of it is given to poor or hungry people.
    • People often gather in groups to hold a barbecue, or to eat the meat that's been cooked in a pit oven. Other foods are usually eaten as well, but there are no special requirements apart from following halal.
  5. Find another option if sacrifice is not feasible. Many Western countries ban the slaughter of animals outside a slaughterhouse, and in some cities finding an animal can be difficult. In these situations, Muslims rely on a couple options:
    • Money can be sent to contacts in another country or region, who will sacrifice the animal and distribute its meat on your behalf.
    • Muslim butchers may provide a location and assistance so sacrifice can be made legally and in accordance with halal.


  • Make-Arabic-Coffee is often served at both Eids.
  • Eid can be celebrated with non-Muslims too. Include your non-Muslim friends neighbors in some of these traditions.

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