Strictly Eid! 9 ways to celebrate the Feast of al-Fitr the official way

Published July 5th, 2016 - 10:22 GMT

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Eid al-Fitr is the holiest day in the Muslim calendar. It's a day of feasting, charity, and prayer that celebrates the end of Ramadan fasting and the return a more normal daily calorie intake. It goes without saying that Muslims around the world will observe the holy day with the requisite gift giving and gathering of family members that characterize any religious holiday, but you might be surprised to learn that Eid is a bit more complex than a family dinner and a group prayer.

In fact, Eid is often a carefully choreographed mix of various practices and traditions that dictate everything from what to eat for breakfast to how you walk to prayer. Here's 9 Eid traditions you might not have known before.

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For Eid al-Fitr, fasting is strictly prohibited. To ensure that the fast in broken in earnest, a small, usually sweet breakfast is eaten at the beginning of the holiday after the obligatory pre-sunrise prayer.
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Image 1 of 10:  1 / 10For Eid al-Fitr, fasting is strictly prohibited. To ensure that the fast in broken in earnest, a small, usually sweet breakfast is eaten at the beginning of the holiday after the obligatory pre-sunrise prayer.

(Source: Shutterstock )

Enlarge
The holy day requires a deep clean! Before the obligatory breakfast, observant Muslims pray the important Salaat ul-Eid (special Eid prayers), they must clean their teeth, shower, and put on their best clothes and perfume. The importance here is not to show off to other humans, but rather to be as prepared as possible to pray before God.
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Image 2 of 10:  2 / 10The holy day requires a deep clean! Before the obligatory breakfast, observant Muslims pray the important Salaat ul-Eid (special Eid prayers), they must clean their teeth, shower, and put on their best clothes and perfume. The importance here is not to show off to other humans, but rather to be as prepared as possible to pray before God.

(Source: Shutterstock )

Enlarge
Visitors to the Middle East are sure to be familiar with the “Adhan” (call to prayer) that is sounded five times a day. On Eid al-Fitr, you will hear no Adhan before the outdoor holiday prayer begins. This prayer without a call happens only twice a year - once on Eid al-Fitr and once on Eid al-Adha (the second holiest holiday in Islam).
Reduce

Image 3 of 10:  3 / 10Visitors to the Middle East are sure to be familiar with the “Adhan” (call to prayer) that is sounded five times a day. On Eid al-Fitr, you will hear no Adhan before the outdoor holiday prayer begins. This prayer without a call happens only twice a year - once on Eid al-Fitr and once on Eid al-Adha (the second holiest holiday in Islam).

(Source: Shutterstock )

Enlarge
The Eid prayer differs greatly from regular prayers usually done in the home or mosques, in that it must be performed outdoors in a wide, open area. On Eid, expect to see large gatherings of Muslims in parks and and squares to meet this mandatory condition.
Reduce

Image 4 of 10:  4 / 10The Eid prayer differs greatly from regular prayers usually done in the home or mosques, in that it must be performed outdoors in a wide, open area. On Eid, expect to see large gatherings of Muslims in parks and and squares to meet this mandatory condition.

(Source: Shutterstock )

Enlarge
Interestingly, there are even rules for how one makes their way to Eid prayer. It is mandatory to go to and from Eid prayer on foot, and it is even recommended that believers abstain from retracing their steps on the return trip - they must take a different route home!
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Image 5 of 10:  5 / 10Interestingly, there are even rules for how one makes their way to Eid prayer. It is mandatory to go to and from Eid prayer on foot, and it is even recommended that believers abstain from retracing their steps on the return trip - they must take a different route home!

(Source: Shutterstock )

Enlarge
The Eid prayer has two parts: the actual prayer and then a sermon by a Sheikh immediately afterwards. It is customary (and obligatory!) that no one speaks during this period. Only Islamic greetings and phrases may be uttered during this sacred time, with talking only being permissible once Muslims have vacated the prayer area.
Reduce

Image 6 of 10:  6 / 10The Eid prayer has two parts: the actual prayer and then a sermon by a Sheikh immediately afterwards. It is customary (and obligatory!) that no one speaks during this period. Only Islamic greetings and phrases may be uttered during this sacred time, with talking only being permissible once Muslims have vacated the prayer area.

(Source: Shutterstock )

Enlarge
One of the most crucial parts of Eid is giving charity, and time is set aside to gather donations for the needy. In some countries like Saudi Arabia, Muslims might anonymously leave food or money with members of their community who are known to be less-fortunate. These, and other such traditions have become integral parts of the Eid celebrations.
Reduce

Image 7 of 10:  7 / 10One of the most crucial parts of Eid is giving charity, and time is set aside to gather donations for the needy. In some countries like Saudi Arabia, Muslims might anonymously leave food or money with members of their community who are known to be less-fortunate. These, and other such traditions have become integral parts of the Eid celebrations.

(Source: Shutterstock )

Enlarge
Eid is a time of spiritual rejuvenation, and that carries over to our earthly lives as well. One is encouraged to forgive trespasses, and let go of grudges that have built up over the past year. Additionally, begin anew with new faces - it is common for even complete strangers to greet one another, wishing them a blessed Eid.
Reduce

Image 8 of 10:  8 / 10Eid is a time of spiritual rejuvenation, and that carries over to our earthly lives as well. One is encouraged to forgive trespasses, and let go of grudges that have built up over the past year. Additionally, begin anew with new faces - it is common for even complete strangers to greet one another, wishing them a blessed Eid.

(Source: Shutterstock )

Enlarge
After the prayer, Muslims visit relatives to feast and exchange gifts with younger children. During this period sweets are customary, from Baklava and Qatayef in the Levant to Turkish Delights in Turkey - it’s a joyous time for anyone with a sweet tooth!
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Image 9 of 10:  9 / 10After the prayer, Muslims visit relatives to feast and exchange gifts with younger children. During this period sweets are customary, from Baklava and Qatayef in the Levant to Turkish Delights in Turkey - it’s a joyous time for anyone with a sweet tooth!

(Source: Shutterstock )

Enlarge
Eid Mubarak from AlBawaba!
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Image 10 of 10:  10 / 10Eid Mubarak from AlBawaba!

(Source: Shutterstock )

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1

For Eid al-Fitr, fasting is strictly prohibited. To ensure that the fast in broken in earnest, a small, usually sweet breakfast is eaten at the beginning of the holiday after the obligatory pre-sunrise prayer.

Image 1 of 10For Eid al-Fitr, fasting is strictly prohibited. To ensure that the fast in broken in earnest, a small, usually sweet breakfast is eaten at the beginning of the holiday after the obligatory pre-sunrise prayer.

(Source: Shutterstock )

2

The holy day requires a deep clean! Before the obligatory breakfast, observant Muslims pray the important Salaat ul-Eid (special Eid prayers), they must clean their teeth, shower, and put on their best clothes and perfume. The importance here is not to show off to other humans, but rather to be as prepared as possible to pray before God.

Image 2 of 10The holy day requires a deep clean! Before the obligatory breakfast, observant Muslims pray the important Salaat ul-Eid (special Eid prayers), they must clean their teeth, shower, and put on their best clothes and perfume. The importance here is not to show off to other humans, but rather to be as prepared as possible to pray before God.

(Source: Shutterstock )

3

Visitors to the Middle East are sure to be familiar with the “Adhan” (call to prayer) that is sounded five times a day. On Eid al-Fitr, you will hear no Adhan before the outdoor holiday prayer begins. This prayer without a call happens only twice a year - once on Eid al-Fitr and once on Eid al-Adha (the second holiest holiday in Islam).

Image 3 of 10Visitors to the Middle East are sure to be familiar with the “Adhan” (call to prayer) that is sounded five times a day. On Eid al-Fitr, you will hear no Adhan before the outdoor holiday prayer begins. This prayer without a call happens only twice a year - once on Eid al-Fitr and once on Eid al-Adha (the second holiest holiday in Islam).

(Source: Shutterstock )

4

The Eid prayer differs greatly from regular prayers usually done in the home or mosques, in that it must be performed outdoors in a wide, open area. On Eid, expect to see large gatherings of Muslims in parks and and squares to meet this mandatory condition.

Image 4 of 10The Eid prayer differs greatly from regular prayers usually done in the home or mosques, in that it must be performed outdoors in a wide, open area. On Eid, expect to see large gatherings of Muslims in parks and and squares to meet this mandatory condition.

(Source: Shutterstock )

5

Interestingly, there are even rules for how one makes their way to Eid prayer. It is mandatory to go to and from Eid prayer on foot, and it is even recommended that believers abstain from retracing their steps on the return trip - they must take a different route home!

Image 5 of 10Interestingly, there are even rules for how one makes their way to Eid prayer. It is mandatory to go to and from Eid prayer on foot, and it is even recommended that believers abstain from retracing their steps on the return trip - they must take a different route home!

(Source: Shutterstock )

6

The Eid prayer has two parts: the actual prayer and then a sermon by a Sheikh immediately afterwards. It is customary (and obligatory!) that no one speaks during this period. Only Islamic greetings and phrases may be uttered during this sacred time, with talking only being permissible once Muslims have vacated the prayer area.

Image 6 of 10The Eid prayer has two parts: the actual prayer and then a sermon by a Sheikh immediately afterwards. It is customary (and obligatory!) that no one speaks during this period. Only Islamic greetings and phrases may be uttered during this sacred time, with talking only being permissible once Muslims have vacated the prayer area.

(Source: Shutterstock )

7

One of the most crucial parts of Eid is giving charity, and time is set aside to gather donations for the needy. In some countries like Saudi Arabia, Muslims might anonymously leave food or money with members of their community who are known to be less-fortunate. These, and other such traditions have become integral parts of the Eid celebrations.

Image 7 of 10One of the most crucial parts of Eid is giving charity, and time is set aside to gather donations for the needy. In some countries like Saudi Arabia, Muslims might anonymously leave food or money with members of their community who are known to be less-fortunate. These, and other such traditions have become integral parts of the Eid celebrations.

(Source: Shutterstock )

8

Eid is a time of spiritual rejuvenation, and that carries over to our earthly lives as well. One is encouraged to forgive trespasses, and let go of grudges that have built up over the past year. Additionally, begin anew with new faces - it is common for even complete strangers to greet one another, wishing them a blessed Eid.

Image 8 of 10Eid is a time of spiritual rejuvenation, and that carries over to our earthly lives as well. One is encouraged to forgive trespasses, and let go of grudges that have built up over the past year. Additionally, begin anew with new faces - it is common for even complete strangers to greet one another, wishing them a blessed Eid.

(Source: Shutterstock )

9

After the prayer, Muslims visit relatives to feast and exchange gifts with younger children. During this period sweets are customary, from Baklava and Qatayef in the Levant to Turkish Delights in Turkey - it’s a joyous time for anyone with a sweet tooth!

Image 9 of 10After the prayer, Muslims visit relatives to feast and exchange gifts with younger children. During this period sweets are customary, from Baklava and Qatayef in the Levant to Turkish Delights in Turkey - it’s a joyous time for anyone with a sweet tooth!

(Source: Shutterstock )

10

Eid Mubarak from AlBawaba!

Image 10 of 10Eid Mubarak from AlBawaba!

(Source: Shutterstock )

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