Muslim devotees pray at a mosque in Kandy (Photo : Reuters)
The upcoming crescent moon sighting on Sunday will mark the beginning of Eid-al-Fitr, a Muslim holiday celebrating the end of Ramadan, the holy month. Ramadan represents the month that the Quran was revealed to the prophet Muhammad.
The Arabic word Eid translates to "festivity" while Fitr means "breaking the fast". The "Feast of Fast Breaking" lasts for three days and kicks off on the first day of the month Shawwal according to the lunar Islamic calendar.
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During Eid, many Muslims wake up early to pray at a mosque or outdoor prayer ground, contribute money to the poor, prepare special meals, and are forgiven for their sins. It is customary to exchange greetings cards on the holiday as well, which can be found here. The accepted greeting is Eid Mubarak, which translates to "Happy Eid!"
Eid al-Fitr is unifying event for the Muslim community. Imam Zaid Shakir of Zaytuna College reflects on the purpose of the holiday in a recent statement to the Muslim community, saying that "Through you're fasting...you've shown that despite the challenges, the hardships, the struggles that we deal with on a daily basis...the human spirit can triumph. This is what Ramadan is all about."
Imam Zaid Shakir Speaks to The Muslim Community about Eid-al-Fitr
Being the joyous occasion that it is, food takes center stage. Listed below are delicacies that are prepared for the occasion, courtesy of bbc.co.uk.
- Turkish kofta kebabs with minted yoghurt and kohlrabi and carrot salad
- Minced beef chappli kebabs
- Chicken biryani
- Extra special beef biryani
- Walnut and pistachio baklava with almont and ginger ice cream
- Cool mango shemai with cheesecake
- Spiced semolina vermicelli
- Pumpkin halwa