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What is Eid al-Fitr and how is it being celebrated?

·2-min read

As the holy month of Ramadan comes to an end, Muslims will celebrate Eid al-Fitr for the second year in a row under Covid-19 restrictions.

Here, the PA new agency looks at what the Islamic holiday entails.

– What is Eid?

There are two Eids celebrated each year in the Islamic calendar.

On Thursday, Muslims will celebrate Eid al-Fitr, which is also known as the festival of breaking fast.

It is typically celebrated at the end of the Muslim month of fasting, called Ramadan.

The second Eid, called Eid al-Adha, which is also known as the “festival of sacrifice”, is marked around two months later at the same time when many Muslims perform the Hajj pilgrimage.

Coronavirus – Fri Jul 31, 2020
Worshippers observe social distancing as they arrive at the Bradford Grand Mosque (Danny Lawson/PA)

– How is Eid al-Fitr celebrated?

Under normal circumstances, the day starts with a morning prayer at a mosque and is then followed by family and friends coming together to eat.

Aya Bdaiwi, 30, communications manager at Faiths Forum for London, said: “They might buy new clothes and exchange presents – especially for the younger family members.

“There’s always some sort of tradition that runs through each family.”

Eid al-Fitr typically lasts around three days.

Eid al-Fitr
A staff member at Green Lane Mosque in Birmingham disinfects prayer rooms, ahead of Eid al-Fitr (Jacob King/PA)

– Does Eid take place at the same time each year?

Much like Easter Sunday in the Christian calendar, Eid does not fall on the same day every year.

Instead, Eid and the period of Ramadan are both dictated by a new moon, as Islam follows the lunar calendar.

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– Will Eid be different this year?

The Muslim Council of Britain said many of the usual festivities, including large indoor gatherings, will not be possible due to the Covid-19 restrictions in place across the UK.

However, people can still take part in Covid-19-safe Eid prayers at their local mosque and have meals outdoors.

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