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3 things you should know about Eid al-Fitr

Eid Al-fitr

Eid al-Fitr is set for Tuesday, June 4. This is an opportunity to look back on this holy day of the Muslim religion, marking the end of the month of Ramadan.

Almsgiving and prayer

In the Muslim religion, Eid al-Fitr requires the faithful to give alms to those most in need. This is called Zakat al-Fitr. Depending on the region of the world, the minimum contribution required varies between 5 and 7 euros. This is an obligation that Muslims must fulfill before the Eid prayer.

The latter takes place in the early morning and is practiced either in a mosque or in a mosala, an open-air prayer space that brings together many faithful. Eid al-Fitr’s prayer is necessarily common.

 

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Family, gifts and sweets

Eid al-Fitr is also (and above all) the children’s feast, especially in the Arab world, where very young children are dressed in new clothes before going on a “marathon” of family visits in search of sweets, gifts and some coins to spend at shopping centers or toy markets in the following days.

More generally, during Eid al-Fitr, tradition requires Muslims to visit their families to present their vows, or to pray on the graves of their deceased loved ones.

 

 Eid el-Fitr, Eid es-Saguir or Şeker Bayramı?

Beyond linguistic considerations, Eid al-Fitr takes different names depending on the regions of the Muslim world and its place in local cultures. In the Maghreb, for example, Eid al-Fitr is more commonly referred to as “Eid as-Saghir” which means “the small feast”, as opposed to “Eid al-Kebir“, the “great feast” which refers to Eid al-Adha, the feast of sacrifice. The same is true in Niger, where the celebration is called “Djingar Keyna” which means “small celebration”. On the other hand, in Albania, this festival is called “Bajrami i madh“, or “the great Eid”, when Eid al-Adha is called “Bajrami i vogel“, “the little Eid”.

In Malaysia and Singapore, this day is called “Hari Raya Puasa“, which means “fasting day” in Sanskrit upavasa. In Indonesia, the name “Lebaran” prevails. It is an indigenous term that refers to dispersion, in this case, the dispersion that takes place after having communion in fasting. Finally, in Turkey, Eid al-Fitr is more commonly referred to as “Ramazan Bayramı“, which simply means the “feast of Ramadan”. The festival is also called “Şeker Bayramı” which can be translated as “sugar feast”, a reference to the sweets that are exchanged during the festivities.