Eid al-Fitr – The Holy Month of Ramadan Ending

Eid al-Fitr translates to ‘festival of the breaking of the fast’.Muslims will be celebrating Eidal-Fitr tomorrow. The three-day festival, commonly abbreviated to Eid, marks the end of the month-long fasting during Ramadan. Muslims believe Ramadan, the holy month (middle of June – middle of July) is filled with blessings, and it is customary to wish them well at the beginning of the month. A special greeting would be “Ramadan Mubarak!” or “Blessed Ramadan!”

It is a time for celebration of the first revelation of the Quran to the prophet Mohammad. The holiday of Ramadan is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Observant Muslims fast from dawn to dusk every day for the 30 day period as an expression of their devotion and sacrifice. The word Ramadan itself comes from the root words for “parched thirst and sun-baked ground.”

After sunset, the feasting and celebrating begins. At this time, the “Iftar”, or evening meal, can be consumed. Many restaurants offer a large buffet meal for those who do not want to cook the evening meal at home and temporary booths are set up selling dates and other goods. Dates hold special meaning to this holiday, it was said that Mohammad himself broke the fast with 3 dates. Lights decorate the squares and lanterns are hung on the mosques.

"Ramadan Night" by Hanouf, age 13 from Kuwait

“Ramadan Night” by Hanouf, age 13 from Kuwait

"Iftar During Ramadan" by Abdullah, age 13 from Jordan

“Iftar During Ramadan” by Abdullah, age 13 from Jordan

Before sunrise, drummers circulate the towns and wake the villagers in the early morning so they can begin preparing the “suhur”, or morning meal, consumed before dawn.

"Celebration of Ramadan" by Farida, age 11 from Egypt

“Celebration of Ramadan” by Farida, age 11 from Egypt

In Kuwait, there is a special celebration for children called “Gargee’an” or “Qirqaian” on the 15th day of Ramadan, marking the middle of the month. Children dress in traditional clothing and knock on the doors of their neighbors, receiving candy and nuts in return.

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“Qirqaian Celebration” by Dana, age 18 from Kuwait

"Qirqaian Nights" by Badriya, age 14 from Kuwait

“Qirqaian Nights” by Badriya, age 14 from Kuwait

Islam is a global religion, and while Ramadan is an important holiday to all practicing Muslims, it is celebrated differently by Muslims all around the world.

Sources: http://islam.about.com/od/ramadan/a/ram_benefits.htm
http://hidayaresearch.com/the-importance-of-fasting-and-the-blessed-month-of-ramadan/

By Olivia Pritchard

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