It is a happy time.
People visit each other.
They give money to poor people.
They wear their best clothes.
People eat special party food.
A celebration is a happy time when people get together in honour of something special.
Different religions or countries each have their own celebrations or way of celebrating.
Eid ul-Fitr (say eed-ool-fit-r) is a time to celebrate the good things in life and give thanks for all the blessings you have. It marks the end of Ramadan, a very important time of year for Muslim people.
Islam is a religion and its people are called Muslims. The dates of Muslim festivals and holy days are worked out by the phases of the moon. This means the dates for Muslim festivals are different in each country.
A very important time of the year is called Ramadan, which lasts for 30 days. During this time, Muslims only eat and drink after sunset as they cannot do so in daylight. There is a big meal at sunset called Iftar. Ramadan begins and ends when there is a new moon in the sky, looking like a thin part of a circle, called a crescent. It is a time of prayer and thinking about your life and how you are living it.
The happy festival called Eid ul-Fitr marks the end of Ramadan. People dress in their best clothes and put lights and decorations in their homes. They visit each other’s houses. Children are given money and treats. Muslims share their good fortune by giving money to charity to help others and to give money to their church, called a mosque. It is a time to patch up arguments.
There are people of the Muslim faith in most countries, and in many of them public holidays mark this festival. Eid ul-Fitr is celebrated in different ways in different countries. It is a family day that always starts with special prayers in the mosque. In some countries only the men go to these prayers but in other countries the women go too. They thank Allah, God, for keeping them strong through Ramadan. After breakfast, which is sometimes outdoors in the grounds of a mosque, families visit each other and eat special cakes together. After this, families enjoy a big celebration lunch at a family member’s home. Each day of the festival, a celebration meal is enjoyed at the home of different parts of the family.
In Bahrain the family lunch is a dish of meat and spices called biryani followed by sweet pastries.
In Egypt the celebrations last for 4 days. On the day of Eid ul-Fitr, the men go to the mosque to pray and the women prepare the special lunch.
Fish is the main dish of the feast in Egypt, and there are other special biscuits and foods.
In Palestine, there are special biscuits made to serve with coffee.
In Somalia, the celebrations last for 3 days. The family lunch includes rice with meat and vegetables and a thin bread called anjira. A dessert called halva is served.
In Malaysia there are 3 public holidays, but the celebrations can last for a month. Special foods include beef rending, and ketupat, which is a rice dumpling wrapped and cooked inside a diamond shaped container of woven palm leaf
In Indonesia, the family lunch includes chicken, lamb or beef, but not fish because that is an everyday food. A special layered cake called lapis legit is part of the feast. Celebrations last for a month.
In Pakistan and India a sweet rice pudding called kheer is served with nuts and dried fruits.