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Eid-Al-Fitr


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The Islamic Calendar
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Eid-Al-Fitr is one of the major holidays of Islam. It comes at the end of the holy month of Ramadan and celebrates the end of the fasting. The holiday comes on the first day of the 10th month in the Islamic lunar calendar. (In 2011, that is August 30.)

Because the month of Ramadan is all about fasting, Eid-Al-Fitr is all about NOT fasting. During Ramadan, Muslims have not eaten while the Sun is in the sky. On Eid-Al-Fitr, they celebrate the end of Ramadan with a sweet snack and then get ready for a day of celebration.

On this day, Muslims are encouraged to dress in their best clothes and attend a special Eid prayer at their neighborhood mosque. Before the prayer begins, Muslims make an alms payment (the Zakat al Fitr) for the month of Ramadan, in the form of food or its cash equivalent. This food and/or money is then distributed to the poor. After the special religious service, the focus turns to gift-giving. Children are given many gifts. Women get gifts from their loved ones. Also on this day, people are encouraged to settle feuds or disputes, especially those between family members.

Eid Al-Fitr means "Feast of Fast-Breaking." It is often celebrated during three days, with the first day marking the end of Ramadan.

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