Hammudah Abd Al-Ati
At the end of the prayer the congregation disperses and travels home or onto
celebrations via a different route. Muslims try to emulate the guidance of
Prophet Muhammad to travel to and from the Eid praying place using different
This and the fact of the prayer being held in open areas are done to show the
strength of the Muslims, to induce pride on one's faith, and to celebrate the
praises of Allah openly.
The actual 'Eid Al-Fitr is one day, but in many Muslim countries, businesses
and offices may close for up to a week. Due to time constraints and the fact
that this Muslim holiday is not always recognized in western countries, some
Muslims are unable to participate in more than a few hours of celebration.
Muslims in different countries and different families celebrate in different
There are gatherings of family and friends for breakfast, brunch or lunch. It
is an occasion for visits, greetings, love and good wishes. It is a time to
heal lost bonds, make amends, and revitalize relationships.
Special foods are prepared and often dishes are sent to neighbors and friends.
Each country or community has its signature dish, and a special benefit to
being part of a Muslim community in the west means being able to sample
delicious cuisine from around the world. Gifts, money and sweets are usually
given to children and some adults exchange gifts too. Celebrations differ from
community to community.
There are picnics and barbeques, fairs and neighborhood feasts, community
events lasting into the night, and fireworks or laser light displays. New
friends are made, old acquaintances renewed and families spend quality time
The celebration of 'Eid demands contact with relatives, kindness to parents,
empathy for the poor and distraught and compassion for neighbors. It is a day
of visiting and well wishing, and some Muslims take the opportunity to visit
the graveyards. It is important not to make visiting the graveyards an annual
Ramadan was a time of reflection and 'Eid is a time of celebration; however,
lavish displays of wealth and materialism are to be avoided.
Muslims who seized the benefits inherent in Ramadan are grateful for this time
to celebrate and understand it is but one of the ways that God bestows His
mercy upon us.
Life can sometimes be full of tests and trials, but through the trying times
as well as the celebrations God, there is with wisdom, mercy and forgiveness.
A Muslim is encouraged to celebrate by glorifying God, but reminded never to
forget that the ability to love life and to celebrate, is but one of God's
Source: Rituals And Celebrations of Eid Al-Fitr