What is Eid?

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Eid is a significant religious festival celebrated by Muslims worldwide. It marks the end of Ramadan, the month of fasting. The word “Eid” means “celebration” in Arabic. There are two main Eid celebrations: Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha. Eid al-Fitr is celebrated after Ramadan and is a time of joy and gratitude. Muslims gather for prayers, exchange gifts, and share meals with family and friends. Eid al-Adha commemorates the willingness of Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son as an act of obedience to God. It involves the sacrifice of an animal and the distribution of its meat to the needy.

Today’s Wonder of the Day is about a holiday celebrated by millions of people around the world. It involves presents and feasts. It brings friends and families together to celebrate. Have you guessed what we’re talking about yet? That’s correct, it’s Eid!

In the English language, the term “eid” means “festival.” And that is exactly what Eid is—a grand celebration. It is a time for Muslims worldwide to worship and feast together. People wish each other Eid Mubarak (“Have a blessed Eid”) during two festivals. The first one is called Eid al-Fitr, and the second one is Eid al-Adha.

Eid al-Fitr occurs at the end of Ramadan. This is a sacred month in the Muslim lunar calendar. During Ramadan, followers of Islam engage in various religious activities. They fast while the sun is up, and many donate to charity. They also perform a special prayer each day and spend time with their family and friends.

Eid al-Fitr translates to “the Festival of Breaking Fast.” This holiday lasts for three days. It begins with communities gathering at their mosque. There, they participate in group prayer. Before the prayer, many also make their Zakat-al-Fidr, a special donation to charity. Have you ever celebrated Eid al-Fitr? If so, you know it is a joyful time. Families come together for feasts. Many exchange presents. During the festival, people also visit the graves of their loved ones.

The second Eid, Eid al-Adha, takes place later in the year. It lasts for four days and marks the end of the hajj, which is an annual pilgrimage to Mecca. In English, Eid al-Adha means “the Festival of Sacrifice.” Like Eid al-Fitr, Eid al-Adha commences with a group prayer, often followed by gift-giving and feasting.

During Eid al-Adha, families who are able to do so will often have a sheep or goat slaughtered. They will keep only one third of the animal for themselves. They give another third to a friend or neighbor. Then, they donate the remaining third to a family in need. The act of giving away most of the meat demonstrates willingness to sacrifice something valuable in service to others and to Allah. This practice also pays tribute to the sacrifice of a ram by Ibrahim. That is the same prophet who is known as “Abraham” in Jewish and Christian religions.

People all over the world celebrate both Eid festivals every year. The holidays share many similarities; families feasting and spending time at their mosques. However, they commemorate different holy events in the Muslim tradition.

Do you celebrate Eid? If so, you know how special it is! If not, maybe it reminds you of holidays you observe. What times of year are most important to your family?

Try It Out

Ready to continue learning? Find an adult friend or family member who can assist you with one or more of these activities!

  • Many individuals find pleasure in acquiring knowledge about different cultures or religions. Take some time today to read about one or more global religions. What fascinating new information did you acquire? Discuss it with a friend or family member.
  • Which holiday do you enjoy the most? Write a detailed description of how you celebrated it. Include as many specifics as possible. During which season does the holiday occur? How do you celebrate it? Does the holiday hold any underlying significance? If so, explain what it is.
  • If you are interested in learning more about the hajj, explore the hajj through pictures. What unanswered questions do you have? Create a list and seek assistance from an adult to find answers. Consider conducting online research or visiting your local library.

Sources of Wonder

  • https://islamfaith.com/the-beauty-of-eid-explained/ (accessed on April 19, 2020)
  • https://www.muslimaid.org/media-centre/blog/eid-ul-fitr-and-eid-ul-adha-what-is-the-difference/ (accessed on April 19, 2020)
  • https://www.learnreligions.com/eid-al-adha-2004304 (accessed on April 19, 2020)
  • https://www.britannica.com/topic/Eid-al-Fitr (accessed on April 19, 2020)
  • https://www.britannica.com/topic/Eid-al-Adha (accessed on April 19, 2020)

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