The Islamic Fasting Month of Ramadhan ends with Happy Eid-ul-Fitr Celebrations

The Islamic Fasting Month of Ramadhan ends with Happy Eid-ul-Fitr Celebrations

The new crescent moon or the Hilal after the fasting month of Ramadhan unites Muslims throughout the world in celebrating the month that preceded where Muslims in good health fasted (nil by mouth) from dawn to dusk, reflected on one’s self, offered extra prayers in meditation, gave charity and recharged one’s body and mind for another year. The Eid-ul-Fitr is the first of the two Eid’s celebrated by muslims and initiated after completion of one of the five pillars in Islam that include the 5 daily prayers, giving charity and the pilgrimage to the Holy city of Mekkah.

Ramadhan is the holiest month in the Islamic calendar and based on the lunar months which fall 10 or so days earlier each year. So accordingly the lengths of the days would vary depending on what part of the world you reside and what season you are passing. It all started some 1400 years ago when the Archangel Gabriel revealed the first verses of the Islamic holy book the, Koran to the prophet Mohammad (Peace be on). Muslims like Christians are referred by God as the people of the Book as each have their own book. Ramadhan in Canberra has possibly seen the shortest days this year with the sun setting soon after 5pm. We have however had Ramadan days in Summer times with far longer days not too long ago.

As the lunar calendar cannot be more than 30 days and often 29 days, it is always a challenge to site the new moon to begin the celebrations. Islamic countries have moon sighting committees that authenticate moon sightings from observers and a decision is made for the day of Eid. According to the teaching of the prophet (peace be on) if the moon cannot be sighted due to climatic or other reasons it is advisable to fast an extra day but not going beyond the 30th day. These days astronomical data also assist in determining the Eid day in many countries and Australian websites like also provides guidelines for us.

The Eid day is declared as a public holiday in Islamic countries and starts with morning congressional prayers for the masses that is often performed in large arenas like stadiums due to the massive crowds. In Canberra the Eid prayer is performed at the Mosques and often at the AIS venues.

Eid day is a time to be with your family and friends and back home people would take their annual leave at this time to travel and to be with family. It is often a day when gifts are exchanged between children and you get to put on your best cloths and if you are lucky you are given new clothing’s for the occasion. Growing up in the western world this day often reminded me of Christmas festivities celebrated here. It is not surprising to see major cities back home deserted during the extended Eid holiday period as people travel to the country or village homes to celebrate. Eid Greetings cards and these days Text messages are exchanged with friends in distant lands.

In Canberra Eid day is celebrated visiting various open houses offered by community members and advised on where you can meet friends and family and exchange Eid Greetings and sample some of the traditional Eid cuisine that is prepared at the stove mainly by our lady counterparts during the days leading up to the Eid day. Many here would take leave from work on this day and often the celebrations would be extended to the weekends as work commitments may not permit during the week.

Our children do not miss out on the significance of the day either as rides and activities are planned at the two mosques and an Eid-ul-Fitr Festival is planned at EPIC on Sunday 3rd August.

Eid Mubarak (May your holiday be blessed).
Hari Raya
Selamat Lebaran
Mutlu Bayramlar

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