MUSLIMS around the UK and across the world celebrate Eid al-Fitr every year.
The date of the religious observance changes annually, as it is based around the lunar calendar. Here is everything you need to know about it.
What is Eid al-Fitr?
Eid or Eid al-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan, which is a month of fasting that starts on May 5 and finishes on June 4 in 2019.
It is an important religious holiday for Muslims and is a day when they are not permitted to fast.
It kick-starts the month of Shawwal, which begins with a feast to end the period of fasting.
The celebration is a public holiday in many Muslim countries, but is not one in the UK, despite a campaign for it to be recognised back in 2014.
During Eid, Muslims will often purchase new clothes for the occasion, and take part in festivals and celebrations.
Many will wake up early to pray at a mosque or outdoor prayer venue.
Gifts and cards are often exchanged among friends and family.
Eid means "celebration" and Mubarak means "blessed", often Eid Mubarak is used as a greeting over this period.
When is Eid al-Fitr 2019?
In 2019, Eid starts on the evening of Wednesday, June 5, and finishes the following day.
The dates can be adjusted slightly nearer the time due to lunar sightings and changes each year.
This is because the Islamic calendar – known as the Umm al-Qura calendar – is based on the moon’s cycle, whereas the Gregorian one is determined by the sun.
As the two don’t align, the Islamic dates move back by around 11 days each year.
Is there another Eid celebration in the calendar?
As well as Eid al-Fitr, Muslims celebrate Eid al-Adha.
Eid al-Adha will begin on the evening of August 11, 2019, which falls in the middle of the 12th and final month in the Islamic calendar.
The celebration revolves around when Allah appeared to Ibrahim in a dream and asked him to sacrifice his son, Ishmael, as a sign of his faith.
It’s similar to the Christian and Jewish stories in which God asked Abraham to sacrifice his son Isaac, but spared him from doing so.
During this time, Muslims traditionally sacrifice animals, in Britain this is done in a slaughterhouse, and the meat is divided up among friends, family and the needy.
It finishes on Thursday, August 15.
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