Muslims across the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr after the month-long fast of Ramadan comes to a close.
On the day of Eid Muslims greet each other by saying “Eid Mubarak”.
Because the timing of Eid al-Fitr is based on the Islamic lunar calendar, it can be difficult to predict when the festival will take place.
When the new moon appears over Saudi Arabia, the Islamic community break into colorful celebrations, throwing food festivals, performing music and spending time with friends and family.
What is Eid al-Fitr?
The arabic name Eid al-Fitr translates to “festival of the breaking of the fast”.
Eid al-Fitr marks the end of the month-long fast of Ramadan, and the beginning of the Islamic month of Shawwal.
Muslims across the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr after the month-long fast of Ramadan comes to a close (photo AFP/Getty Images)
What is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and marks the month in which the Quran was first revealed.
Muslims spend the month fasting from dawn until sunset.
When is Eid al-Fitr observed?
The end of Ramadan is based on the Islamic lunar calendar, so it can be difficult to predict.
Eid al-Fitr is observed when the first new moon is sighted.
This can lead to the festival being celebrated on different days in different parts of the world.
While some Muslims wait to be able to see the moon themselves, many either use the calculated time of the new moon, or base it on the declaration made in Saudi Arabia.
This year, Saudi Arabia announced on Sunday, July 27, that Eid al-Fitr would begin on July 28.
How is Eid al-Fitr celebrated?
On the day of Eid, Muslims gather at mosques in the morning to perform the Eid prayer, before holding family gatherings and visiting friends.
Muslims share feasts and sweets to mark the end of the fasting period, and greet each other by saying “Eid Mubarak” – which roughly translates as “happy Eid” or “blessed Eid.”
The celebrations last for three days, and are seen as a time of forgiveness and of giving thanks to Allah for helping people to complete their spiritual fasting.
Many Muslims display this thanksgiving by giving donations and food to those less fortunate than themselves.
In most Muslim countries, the three days of Eid are observed as public and school holiday.
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The United Nations Security Council has called for an “immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire” in Gaza Strip.
An emergency session backed a statement calling for a truce over the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Fitr “and beyond”.
Both the Palestinian and Israeli envoys to the UN criticized the statement, for different reasons.
Gaza had its quietest night in weeks after a weekend punctuated by brief truce initiatives offered by both Israel and Hamas.
More than 1,030 Palestinians, mostly civilians, and 43 Israeli soldiers and two Israeli civilians have been killed. A Thai national in Israel has also died.
The UN Security Council has called for an immediate and unconditional humanitarian ceasefire in Gaza
The Gaza health ministry on Sunday revised the number of Palestinian dead down by 30 after some relatives found missing family members.
Israel’s military reported a new rocket attack on Monday morning, saying it had hit an open area in southern Israel. It fired back, in its first reported military action since late on Sunday evening.
The UN Security Council endorsed a statement from Rwanda, the current president of the council, calling for a “durable” truce based on an Egyptian initiative – under which a pause in hostilities would lead to substantive talks on the future of Gaza, including the opening of Gaza’s border crossings.
The statement also emphasized that “civilian and humanitarian facilities, including those of the UN, must be respected and protected”.
It further stressed the need for “immediate provision of humanitarian assistance to the Palestinian civilian population in the Gaza Strip”.
The Palestinian representative at the UN, Riyad Mansour, said the statement did not go far enough and that a formal resolution was needed demanding that Israel withdraw its forces from Gaza.
“They should have adopted a resolution a long time ago to condemn this aggression and to call for this aggression to be stopped immediately,” he said.
Speaking for Israel, Ron Prosor accused the Security Council statement of bias.
“Miraculously it doesn’t mention Hamas,” the Israeli envoy said.
“It doesn’t mention the firing of rockets. Those things are lacking in this statement.”
Opinion polls published at the weekend suggest there is still widespread support among Israelis for the military operation.
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