The Two Islamic Holidays: Eid-Al-Fitr and Eid-Al-Adha

Eid-Al-Fitr takes place at the end of Ramadan. Ramadan is the ninth lunar month when Muslims fast from dawn to dusk each day for the entire month. When the month of Ramadan ends the first day of the tenth lunar month called Shawal is the first of the two Eids that Muslim celebrate each year. As you can imagine after fasting for the entire month, it is indeed a great celebration, but there are other things that makes the Muslim Holidays even more special!

The lunar months move eleven days forward every year. So as the Eid at the end of Ramadan is a moving Holiday for the Muslims around the world, every 33 years the Eid falls on the same day or on very close to that day. 33 YEARS! So how special is each Ramadan! Once you pass it you would not get the same feeling for the next 33 years, and if you are lucky to live the next 33 years, it will be so different! Just thinking of it makes you want to cherish every moment of life.

So, with all of these movements in the lunar calendar, the Eid celebration is synchronized amazingly and beautifully around the world!

Two months and ten days after the Eid-Al-Fitr comes the second Eid called the Eid-Al-Adha. The Eid-Al-Adha celebration includes sacrificing of animals called the Kurbani, Pilgrimage to Makkah called Hajj etc., and of course the general celebration of the two Eids, eating good meals, wearing new clothes, enjoying time with family and friends and lots of parties! In the midst of all of these celebrations, what really is emphasized is following Prophet Abraham’s (AS) footsteps and being a true Monotheist, believing in the One Supreme God, being kind, compassionate and generous. After surviving Ramadan you learn to be compassionate, patient and caring.

The Pilgrimage is known as the Hajj, which is a sacred journey for a Muslim to Mekkah and Medina in Saudi Arabia. The Hajj is mandatory only once for a person’s lifetime and for only those, who can afford it. But people love it so much that if they can afford it they go more than once. Some perform Hajj on behalf of their family members if they are sick and unable to perform their own hajj but have the means. Now-a-days you can view pictures of Hajj in the internet. It is very overwhelming to see such big crowd of about 3 million people to gather for one purpose!

Islam is a religion of Peace. It is a religion of monotheism, in addition to believing in the One Supreme God, Muslims believe that Prophet Muhammad (SAWS) was the last messenger of that Supreme God. Many-a-times, probably in the west, people think that Allah is different than the One Supreme God, or the Lord, but that is not the case, Allah is a translation of the word God. Muslims refer to God as Allah, but really, Muslims are the followers of the Abrahamic faith. The celebration of the Eid-Al-Adha, the Hajj in Mekkah and sacrificing of animals are the illustrations of walking in the footsteps of Prophet Abraham (AS), may peace be upon him.

The Eid greeting is expressed by saying, Eid Mubarak.

Thanks for reading, enjoy life, celebrate and be happy. Eat good food. Peace.