The religious holiday of Eid al-Fitr, the “Festival of Breaking Fast,” is also known as Lesser Eid or simply Eid. The festival can last one to three days marking the end of Ramadan, the Muslim holy month of fasting. During Ramadan, Muslims don’t eat or drink from sunrise to sundown while also engaging in prayer, reflection, and charity.
In Canada, Eid begins Wednesday at sunset and ends Thursday evening.
Eid al-Fitr is an important time of celebration for Muslims as they engage in special prayer, visit and embrace loved ones, exchange gifts and sweets, as well as greet others with “Eid Mubarak,” which means “Blessed Eid.” However, it is the second year COVID-19 precautions are impacting how Eid is celebrated.
Typically, Eid morning prayers are held at mosques or outdoors with large gatherings. Indoor religious gatherings are currently suspended in B.C. while outdoor gatherings can still take place, with conditions.
The date of Eid changes year to year because the Islamic calendar is a lunar one, with each month starting when the waxing moon is seen. Eid al-Fitr is determined by the first sighting of the new crescent moon for the Islamic calendar month of Shawaal.
It is also the first of two Eids, with the second, Eid al-Adha, coming later in the year and lasting longer.
Eid is a national holiday in many countries with large Muslim populations. While celebrations vary around the world, Muslims are also encouraged to practise and seek forgiveness.