Eid Mubarak

At some point this week the month of Ramadan will come to an end, probably Wednesday or Thursday depending on when the new moon is sighted, and it will be followed by Feast of the Breaking of the Fast, عيد الفِطر (ʿīd al-fiṭr, Eid al-Fitr). Eid al-Fitr is technically a one-day holiday that occurs on the first of the month of Shawwal (شَوّال), but most countries celebrate it over two or three days to give families time to come together and celebrate properly. As you might imagine, the festival involves a lot of eating (Muslims are actually forbidden from fasting on this day), particularly of cookies and other sweet baked goods that are prepared over the last few days/nights of Ramadan. There is a special celebratory communal prayer to be held on the holiday, followed traditionally by family visits and meals, and then another day or two of relaxation (at a beach, maybe)–this is why the holiday is extended in almost every Islamic country, to allow time to visit family and perform the holiday’s religious requirements while also allowing time for rest and enjoyment. Gifts may be given depending on local custom; maybe only to children, or to children and wives/mothers, or universally. It is also customary to see acts of great kindness and charity performed on the Eid, with food brought to the poor and complete strangers on the street greeting each other warmly.

Appropriate greetings for the festival are عيد مُبارَك (ʿīd mubārak, Eid Mubarak), “Blessed Festival (Eid)” and عيد سَعيد (ʿīd saʿīd, Eid Saeed), “Happy Festival.”